How to add captions and subtitles to social media videos

11 Mar 2020 How to

Want to know why you need captions on your video marketing, and how to do it?

Read on for quick tips and expert advice on getting it right! And if you’d like some more inspiration for getting the most mileage out of your video, download our free guide to strategic video marketing.

There are 4 key reasons why you should be adding captions to your online film:

1) Accessibility: In the UK alone, there are 11 million people who are either deaf or hard of hearing. Adding in captions or subtitles allows the deaf and hard of hearing community to access your films. 

2) Behaviour: 85% of Facebook users watch videos on mute. This behaviour isn’t limited to Facebook, as reports from other social media platforms tell the same story. It seems that it can be a bit of an inconvenience to watch videos with the sound turned up – likely attributed to the fact most people watch online videos whilst on the move, in a public space or in the presence of other people.

3) Engagement: Reports show that captions actually increase both engagement and watch time. This is because captions can grab the audience’s attention as they scroll past it, even when the film is on mute; so it really does pay to include captions if you’re looking to optimise the reach and performance of your film.

4) SEO: Crawl bots don’t have eyes to watch your video, but they can read the text and code. By adding a transcript to your website page, you’ll be enriching that page with all of the text spoken within the film. This is going to contribute significantly to your overall content marketing campaign. 


The difference between captions and subtitles

Really simply, captions can be toggled on and off via the platform used to view the video, whereas subtitles are text that have been overlaid onto the video and can not be switched off.

Captions are great for Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube.

Subtitles are great for Instagram and Twitter. Annoyingly, these two platforms don’t currently accept SRT (subtitle) files! But do not fear, this blog will show you how to get both captions and subtitles.


How to add captions to an online video

There are a number of transcription websites and services available on the net, but we choose to use rev.com.

We do this because it’s cheap and pretty accurate, even when faced with my Bristolian twang.

To get started, you’ll need to head to rev.com and make an account. Sign up with your username and password:

Once logged in, you’ll then need to choose the caption service:

You can then choose how you want to upload your video to the website. This can be done by copying and pasting in the link to your video, uploading it directly to the site or even by connecting your Youtube or Vimeo account.

Click submit, and you’ll be prompted to provide payment details:

You’ll then be notified when your order is ready, and you can proof and edit your captions (which is a must!).

The interface is really simple to use, and it allows you to correct any mistakes:

Once you’re happy with the captions, click download and choose either SRT files (which can be uploaded to Youtube, LinkedIn) or Facebook Ready files (which are optimised for Facebook).

NOTE: Remove any punctuation you may have within the title of your film, such as underscores or full stops, as this will confuse Facebook! 


How to upload captions to LinkedIn videos

Once you have your video and its SRT file, you can upload a video with captions straight to your chosen social media account.On your LinkedIn homepage, click the video icon in the ‘start a post’ box, and select the video you’d like to upload:

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Once the video preview appears, click the ‘edit’ pencil icon in the top right-hand corner:

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Click ‘Select file’ to upload your SRT file, and then click save:

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Add any text and hashtags to your post, and when you’re happy, click post. 


How to upload captions to Facebook videos

On your Facebook timeline or News Feed, click ‘Photo/Video’:

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Choose your video, then click Post.

Facebook will send you  a notification when your video is ready to view. Click this notification, then click ‘options’ on the bottom right of the video, and select ‘Edit Video’:

Under the Captions section, click ‘choose file’ and upload your SRT file, then click save. Your captions will now be available.


How to upload captions to YouTube videos

Sign in to YouTube Studio.

On the left-hand side, select ‘Videos’.

Click on the title or thumbnail of a video, and select the ‘Advanced’ tab.

Select ‘Upload subtitles/CC’:

Choose between ‘With timing’ or ‘Without timing’ and select ‘Continue’.

Upload your SRT file, and click ‘save’.


How to add subtitles to an online video

Head to Kapwing.com and create an account. Then you’ll need to choose the subtitle tool:

You can then paste the link to your video, or upload your video directly to the site.

I find with Kapwing that the paste link function is kind of ropey, so I tend to upload the video directly!

On the bottom right you’ll see a grey button that says ‘upload SRT’.

Click this button, choose the correct SRT file that you’ve already obtained using our earlier steps, and hit submit.

In this page you can edit the subtitles, including font, colour, size and placement, using the tools on the left of the page.

Once you’re happy with the look of the subtitles, click download and you’ll then get a copy of your video complete with subtitles.

Hopefully this guide has shown you all you need to know about adding captions and subtitles to your online videos!

If you’d like any more tips or advice, reach out to our friendly team on [email protected] – we’re here to help!


Want more?



Once you’ve added your subtitles, it’s time to market your video to the fullest. Watch our super handy webinar to find out how to create a watertight video marketing strategy that brings you real business results.