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The Importance of Video Subtitles and Closed Captions for Social Media

Video Subtitles and Closed Captions for Social Media

Today we will be looking at the importance of adding video subtitles and closed captions for social media. Depending on your target audience and desired level of exposure, the benefits of captioning for social media are huge. 

Reasons to Use Video Subtitles and Closed Captions for Social Media?

When it comes to social media, viewer engagement is critical, adding captions to videos is as important as adding music. It is widely understood that over 80% of Facebook videos are viewed without the sound on (that’s a lot of sneaky employees!) According to social media sites, 75% of the videos that are published need sound to fully engage the audience.

Currently, videos on Facebook and Twitter will autoplay without sound. In most cases, the viewer will never turn the sound on and so will effectively miss out on sound content. By adding captions to your videos, you can increase engagement by as much as 15%. The message here is that adding subtitles or captions to your videos is key to getting more viewers!

Do you dedicate hours of your day making high quality videos? If so, then taking the time to add subtitles or captions to them should be of the utmost importance. After all, what good is it spending hours producing a high quality video when all your hard work is lost to the viewer because they are watching it without sound?

YouTube and Social Media Subtitles or Closed Captions?

In order to decide if it’s worth either subtitling or closed captioning your videos, you will need to know the difference between the two options.

Generally, subtitles that are used for T.V and film are there to help the audience understand and contextualize video content. Subtitles are extremely useful if you have English videos that you intend to distribute to foreign audiences. Translating English subtitles into foreign languages is great for international marketing. 

The primary purpose of closed captioning is to provide the deaf and hard of hearing audiences with a clear understanding and context of what is going on in your video. Closed captions include background noises such as a bee buzzing; sound effects such as thunder and vocalisation descriptions, such as screaming. They also include forced narrative and speaker identification. 

In summary, closed captions are for hard of hearing viewers; subtitles for foreign audiences. 

Tips for Video Subtitling and Closed Captioning:

  1. Concentrate your efforts: When checking out your current videos, consider which you think would benefit the most from captions, should the viewer not be able to hear the video. Try to add subtitles or closed captions to those videos which rely more on voiceovers to get the message across.
  2. Plan ahead: When producing videos for social media driven projects, try to think of the keywords that your video is trying to convey. Adding keywords into your subtitles or closed captions is key when it comes to SEO and marketing.
  3. Use multiple languages: Facebook allows you to upload subtitles in a variety of formats, which include .SRT and .WebVTT. Producing foreign as well as English subtitles will boost your target audience and make your videos more accessible.
  4. Use correct timings: When adding subtitles or closed captions, remember timing is everything. You don’t want your closed captions to be onscreen before speech starts and conversely, you don’t want captions to linger after speech has finished. Where possible, try to edit your subtitles to an appropriate length that is easy to read, at a maximum rate of 250 words per minute.

Remember these four tips and you won’t go far wrong. Get in touch with us for more information at, or check out our information on our social media and YouTube subtitles.  

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About us

At Capital Captions, we take pride in our flexible, tailor-made approach to subtitling, closed captioning, video translation and video transcription services. We offer professional, reliable, cost effective services to clients across the globe.

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