More than 4 billion video views take place on Facebook every day.
(And the majority of social media marketers already use video for their marketing!)
With so many people watching and creating, you might wonder sometimes:
What can you do to make people want to watch YOUR Facebook videos?
If it’s really that competitive, how do you stand out?
There’s actually one little tweak that’ll make your Facebook videos a LOT more watchable.
It uses one of Facebook’s most effective video editing features, but also one of its most easily missed – so today, we’re taking a closer look at how you can use it to seriously increase your videos’ potential!
Facebook’s auto-caption tool (and why it matters so much)
Back In 2017, Facebook rolled out a feature that should look pretty familiar to YouTube aficionados: a way to automatically generate captions for your videos, and edit them right inside Facebook. Yet many video-creators still aren’t taking advantage of this feature!
While auto-generated captions that may not sound like a big deal, it’s a huge leap forward in terms of making your videos way more watchable in a short amount of time.
First of all, about 85% of all Facebook video is watched on mute – so if your video only makes sense if you’re listening to it, it won’t make sense to most people without captions.
(And in fact, most videos DO need sound to be understood. According to Facebook, 76% of video ads can’t be understood without sound!)
If you use video to show off your products, it’s even MORE important that people can understand what’s going on without sound. 90% of people say that product videos help them make purchasing decisions – so yours had better be watchable on mute!
Here’s an example of why this is so important.
Ask yourself: which one of these is easier to understand?
(If you said the one on the left, congrats on being able to read lips. That’s actually pretty cool.)
Forcing users to watch your video with sound makes them much less likely to watch at all.
Facebook knows it – and that’s exactly why they offer you a free, simple tool that makes it easier to get better results!
Ready to see how it works?
How to use Facebook’s automatic video captioning tool
First of all, here’s how far we’ve come.
Before this tool existed, if you wanted to add captions to a Facebook video, you had to either embed them in the video itself (so that they couldn’t be turned on/off), or you had to upload a SubRip (.srt) file. That meant manually typing out everything in exactly the right format, down to fractions of seconds.
Basically, you had to do this:
(In case you never did it – it wasn’t fun.)
Now Facebook does the hard work for you – and you can edit your captions in real time.
If you’ve used YouTube’s caption editor, this should be pretty familiar to you – Facebook’s voice recognition software identifies what your video says and when, giving you a template you can edit right in your browser.
To access it, go to one of your videos and find the “Edit Post” option, or find your videos in Facebook’s “creator studio“.
(Note: if you go to the video via your Page’s Videos tab, this may appear as Edit Video instead.)
From there, you can access the Captions menu to either upload an .srt file (just like old times!) or use the “Edit Captions” button.
That’ll bring up a window where you can see the captions Facebook has created for you, right alongside the video itself:
Your work isn’t done once Facebook generates captions for you, though.
Because while voice recognition software is powerful, it isn’t perfect! Facebook will give you a huge head start by loading up what it thinks your video is saying, but you should definitely go through line by line and make sure everything looks right.
Otherwise, you might end up with something like this:
(As you may have guessed, that’s not actually what she’s saying.)
Once you’re done, all you have to do is save, and boom – your video is viewer-friendly for the vast majority of users who prefer muted content to sound!
By making this quick and easy tweak, you’re optimizing your Facebook videos so that they’ll be a lot more appealing for viewers, and that can make a huge difference – not just for your Facebook Page, but for your business.
Don’t forget to do this for your live broadcasts, too. You can rack up a lot of views long after it ends, so adding captions is an important part of your post-broadcast routine!
(And by the way, you can watch the video we’ve been using as an example right here! No headphones required.)
What about when Facebook gives you the “Couldn’t generate captions” error?
Good old Facebook isn’t perfect. Sometimes when you turn on auto-generate captions you’ll get the error “Couldn’t generate captions”. In this case, you’ll need to upload your own SRT file. Kapwing makes a great tool to generate this file for you, which you can then upload to Facebook.
Do you have captions to add?
There you have it, videophiles – a quick, easy tool for adding captions to your Facebook videos!
The question now is, are you going to use it?
Do you think it might not be worth the trouble?
Or do you prefer sharing only videos that don’t have any sound in them at all?
Let us know what you think in the comments below!