You should always add subtitles to your video because (1) most people flick through social media feeds with no sound, and; (2) it increases your engagement.
Adding subtitles gives you a chance to entice people to pause and turn the sound up on your video. And of course the accessibility issue.
I generally find my engagement is higher on my videos that have subtitles (e.g., my MBA Marketing Tips Series) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHoja44QrITnflDFfw_xR25ZGjkSSvM9B And it’s not actually that hard to add subtitles – so it’s a no-brainer for me.
Although Facebook and YouTube can generate subtitles for you automatically, unfortunately LinkedIn doesn’t have this feature. So we need to be a bit creative to make it happen.
Linkedin provides the option to add subtitles by uploading an ‘.srt’ file at the time when you upload your video.
In a nutshell, what you do is generate the subtitles in Facebook, and then generate a subtitles file to use in LinkedIn. You upload the subtitles file when you upload your video in LinkedIn.
Both Facebook and YouTube have sophisticated machine learning algorithms that generate subtitles automatically for you, but I have found Facebook’s algorithm is more accurate and easier to adjust for Linkedin.
Step 1: Upload your movie into Facebook.
As mentioned earlier, we need a way to auto-generate subtitles for our footage, and Facebook has the best algorithm for this. So you’ll first need to upload your movie into Facebook to get the subtitles generated (you could use third party software and manually transcribe your movie but who has time for that?)
When uploading, you’ll be given an option to “Auto Generate Captions”. Go ahead and do this. It might take a few minutes, but in general the results are fairly accurate. After generating it will also give you the option to check and edit the result – go ahead and do this if you want, but generally to save time I just trust the accuracy (except it never gets my name spelling right — Calls me ‘Brent Koga’ instead of Brent Coker, lol).
Step 2: Generate an ‘.srt’ file for LinkedIn.
Open your video in Facebook after it’s finished processing. Make sure you’re using Chrome browser (you could use another browser, but these instructions are Chrome specific).
Press the F12 button on your keyboard to open the developer tools.
Then press Ctrl and f to open the search feature in the developer tools.
Then type the word ‘captions’ without quotes into the search box.
It should highlight a URL that begins with the word ‘blob’. Double click on this URL to select it. Press Ctrl and C to copy this URL.
Paste the URL (Ctrl and V) into a new tab in your browser. For example, in my example below I copied the URL blob:https://www.facebook.com/e9a65fa5-ea8a-480f-93a0-7f9035e77879
You should see a page with text. This is the subtitle information used to render subtitles.
Step 3: Generate the .srt file for LinkedIn.
I use Notepad++ for this step, but you could also use regular Notepad.
From the URL you pasted into your browser, select all of the text in this page (Ctrl A).
Paste all of the text into a new Notepad document (Ctrl V)
Save the file. Change the “save as type” to All types. Give the file a name ending with .srt
Now, we have an srt file, but the problem is that it is still in the Facebook format so won’t work in LinkedIn (linkedIn will give an error if you upload it).
To make the srt file compatible with Linkedin, we need to do three things.
First, delete the word ‘WEBVTT’ at the top of the document.
Second, open up the find and replace function in Notepad (Ctrl F). We need to remove all the ‘size’ references. Type the size statement into the ‘Find what’ field of Notepad, and keep the ‘Replace with’ box empty. In our example, the size statement is size:90%
IMPORTANT: There is a space between time information and the size statement. You MUST also remove this space, otherwise LinkedIn won’t accept the file and will throw an error.
Third, we need to replace all the full stops in the document, with commas. Use Find and Replace again to do this.
Last, save the file.
Now we have a LinkedIn compatible subtitles file. After following this process a few times, it becomes very quick.
Step 4: Upload the subtitles file into LinkedIn
Choose the video upload post option in Linkedin. At this point, you’ll see a small ‘edit’ button after you select your video file. This is where you upload your subtitles file to match your video.
Click on the Edit button, and browse to your .srt subtitles file degenerated in the previous step.
After you select your file, you should see this:
If you see an error instead, then you have done something wrong when you removed the Facebook specific stuff in Notepad in the previous step (the WEBVTT statement, size information statements including spaces, and replacing the dots for commas).
If it works, then go ahead and save the video settings in Linkedin, and you’re good to go!
Hope this tip was useful for you. Please connect with me on social for more Digital Marketing and Consumer Psychology tips. Thanks for reading!