As you’re reading this, the chances are you already know why it’s essential to add video captions to every video you post on Facebook or other social networks.
If you’re not yet aware of why it is so important, then you can read why here, but briefly:
85%+ of Facebook users typically scroll their newsfeed with the SOUND OFF on their device.
That means, without adding captions, only 15% of the people who see your video will know what you are saying, and you’ll have wasted time, effort, and money getting your video in front of the other 85%.
How to get video captions for your Facebook videos
There are two ways you can get video captions:
#1: Facebook auto-generated captions
These are computer generated, using software that converts your voice to text.
The problem is, often auto-generated captions are riddled with errors that you will have to manually correct.
A 2-minute video I auto generated captions for took me 20 minutes to correct all the errors!
#2: Human-generated captions.
I send all my videos to Rev.com, where a human listens to the video and prepares the caption file.
Their turnaround is quick, usually less than 8 hours for videos of less than 15 minutes, less than 24 hours for videos up to 90 minutes, and 48 hours for longer videos.
Their pricing is extremely reasonable, $1 per video minute.
When your order is complete, you will be able to check and make any required edits to your captions, before downloading the file to add to your video.
In this post, I’m going to walk through the process of ordering, editing, and uploading your video captions to Facebook videos – without the need for any external software.
Submitting your order for video captions at Rev
First, go to Rev.com here and sign up for your free $10 voucher. As a new customer of Rev, this will get you 10 minutes of your videos captioned for free.
Create an account at Rev.com and log in.
Go to the home page and select ‘Captions’.
Next, choose ‘Place New Order’.
Here you’ll see four options for providing your video to Rev to work on:
- Upload files: Upload the video file directly from your computer
- Paste a URL: Link to the video already hosted online with public visibility – e.g. on YouTube or your Facebook page (see how to share your videos from Facebook)
- YouTube: Connect your YouTube account to Rev and then select the (unlisted or public) video/s you require captions for. If you select this option, Rev will add your captions to your YouTube video for you.
- Vimeo: Connect your Vimeo account to Rev and then select the video/s you require captions for. If you select this option, Rev will add your captions to your Vimeo video for you.
Complete your payment details and submit your order.
Once your order has been submitted, you will be invited to tell them the name of the speaker.
When Rev deliver your order:
You will receive an email from Rev when your order is complete. DO NOT DOWNLOAD THE FILE VIA THIS EMAIL!
When you see the email in your inbox, log into your Rev account on your web browser.
Click on your name, top right of the page
Select “Order History”.
Locate your order at the top of the list and click on the order number to open the summary page.
Editing your captions
Click on ‘Edit’ and you’ll be taken to the Captions Editor.
Here you’ll find your video at the top of the page, and underneath, your captions.
Skim through your captions and if you find an error that you need to correct, simply click in the caption to edit it. Your changes will be saved automatically as you go along.
Once you have finished editing, you will have one or two options, depending on how you provided your video to Rev:
- Upload to YouTube/Vimeo – if you connected your YouTube or Vimeo account to Rev, you will see a red button on the top right of your screen to send to YouTube/Vimeo. Click on the red button to send your revised captions to your video. The option to download will be via the triangle to the right of the button you just clicked.
- Download – if you gave Rev a link or uploaded your video file, the red button will say ‘Download’
You will be presented with a pop up showing the various formats that you can download your caption file in.
Select the following two options:
- SubRip (.srt) – your captions file
- Transcript (.txt) – a Notepad document containing your captions as a block of text that with a simple edit can become a transcript you can repurpose into a blog post.
After making your selections, click on the red download button to download a .zip folder of both files.
Open the .zip folder and save your .srt and .txt files.
Rename your .srt file for Facebook compatibility
Before you can add your captions file to Facebook, you have to slightly rename your captions file to add your Facebook language code.
- Go to File Manager
- Locate the .srt file
- Right click on the filename
- Select ‘rename‘
and change the filename as follows:
Your existing filename will be: name of file.srt.
E.g. Leverage your Facebook livestream.srt
If your Facebook language is set to English UK, your filename needs to be renamed to name of file.en_GB.srt
E.g. Leverage your Facebook livestream.en_GB.srt
If your Facebook language is set to English US, your filename needs to be renamed as name of file,en_US.srt.
E.g. Leverage your Facebook livestream.en_US.srt
If you don’t know which language your account is set to, check the language settings of your personal Facebook account, or attempt to upload the .srt file with its current name and Facebook should tell you the language code you need to add.
[NOTE: You may have noticed a ‘Facebook ready SubRip’ in that list of file formats. Selecting this option will automatically download a file with your country language code added. E.g. .en_GB if you are based in UK. If you know your Facebook language is set to English UK, then you can go ahead and download the ‘Facebook ready’ version and skip this renaming step.]
Uploading your captions file to Facebook
If you have not yet uploaded your video to your Facebook page.
- Visit your Facebook page
- Select ‘Videos’ from the left-hand menu.
- Choose ‘Add Video’.
- Upload your video and add the text as normal.
If you have already uploaded your video.
- Click on the … top right of your video post on your page, or bottom right if you’re viewing the video.
- Select, ‘Edit Post’ or ‘Edit Video’.
From this point, the steps are the same…
Click on ‘Subtitles and Captions’ on the right-hand side of the upload/edit screen.
Locate the (renamed) .srt file and upload.
Change the default language via the drop down menu, to English UK or English US, depending on which filename language extension you added.
Your video now has captions enabled.
I recommend you check your captions are showing on your desktop/laptop. Whether they show on your phone will be dependent on your settings but they should show automatically on your computer.
Using your free transcript
When you downloaded your .srt file earlier, I also recommend you download a .txt file.
This .txt file is a block of text that contains all your captions as one huge paragraph.
Go to File Manager
Locate the .txt file and double click to open.
It will open in Notepad.
Highlight ALL the text, right click, copy.
Paste the text into a new Word document.
Go through the text to edit in paragraphs, making any other edits as required, and you will have a free transcript of your video that you can repurpose in a variety of different ways: use as a transcript, the basis of a blog post like this one, or use it later when you come to write your book, for example.
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