Here’s a stat you should know: More than 80% of your video’s views on social media are without sound. That’s right! Videos on Facebook and Twitter autoplay with the sound turned off — and most people don’t bother to turn it on.

social media video subtitles

Why would that be? Viewers may be in a public place and don’t want to put on headphones. They may just be lazy. Or they may not even realize that the audio is muted. Whatever the reason, it can have a negative impact on viewership.

It’s becoming standard practice to add subtitles to social video. That’s something that is done in the editing stage. If you have an existing video, you can add captions instead. Captions can be turned on or off by the user, and it’s possible to provide captions in multiple languages. Facebook reports that captioning a video increases the average view time by 12%. If you want to do it yourself, tools such as YouTube’s Subtitles & CC Tool allow you to create the necessary SubRip (.SRT) file.

Another option is to forgo speech altogether. Here’s a recent video we did that uses bold text to tell the story, with only music for a soundtrack.

So now you have a few options at your disposal to get around the no sound problem. As always, I’m happy to talk about what might be best for your particular situation.

Bill Haley