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2.11.19

5 Secrets of Social Media Subtitles

Nick Fisch

5 Secrets of Social Media Subtitles

An essential, but often neglected step in the content creation process, the subtitle, continually impacts view count, audience retention, reach, and accessibility. Subtitling your social media video content is a small investment of time and effort and serves the underserved, while optimizing your content efforts.

Here are 5 things to consider before posting your next social media video:

1. The Silent Scroller

Whether you’re in line at the DMV, hiding in your cubicle, or trying not to disturb a sleeping significant other, the silent scroll on social media is incredibly common: 85 percent of people watch Facebook videos on mute. If that 85% lands on your content and can’t understand it without audio, they are on to the next one in seconds flat. Provide your audience with a transcription of what is happening with on-screen subtitles that display not only dialogue, but sound effects and music cues, turning your content into a modern silent film.

2. Serve the Hearing Impaired

The Hearing Loss Association of America reports that 1 in 5 Americans are hearing impaired. This is a potential audience of 48 million people that would greatly appreciate the accessibility of content with accurate subtitles on screen.

3. Crystal Clarity

Uhms, uhs, accents, lisps, slang, technical terms—all of these things can make comprehension and retention video content difficult. Providing subtitles on your content cuts through the confusion and delivers your message with crystal clarity.

4. Search Engine Optimization

It’s true: videos can be SEO’d too. If you transcribe your videos and provide a subtitle file, Google can use that keyword information from your content to present it to an audience conducting a related search.

5. Sample like a DJ

Content is king, and while video tends to reign supreme, the written word is still alive (you are reading this, right?). If you’re going through all the effort to shoot, edit, and upload video content, why not maximize the potential of that message by turning it into a blog post or written Instagram caption? Having your video content transcribed and subtitled already means with just a little reformatting you have fed two birds with one scone. (PETA approved joke.)

Now that you know the benefits of subtitling your social media videos, you are probably wondering how and where to get started. While it is possible to transcribe and subtitle content yourself, it is often easier to outsource this part of the process to ensure accuracy. There are many online companies offering services that allow you to upload your content and receive various subtitle and transcription file types back quickly. Rev.com is a great example of a site that does this well and quickly. For $1/minute of video and with a 24 hour turnaround, employees of Rev work quickly to deliver transcription and subtitles back to you. With many files types offered by these services (.SRT, .TXT, .TTML), it is easy to work with this step into your post production process.