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5 reasons to use captions on social media


Captioning social media content. These days social media is chock full of video content, and captions are video’s best friend.

Here are our top five reasons why:

1. For people who watch with the sound down

Watching videos on mute is surprisingly common these days. We look at our phones virtually everywhere including on the train, at work, in cafes. In noisy or crowded places you really have no option but to watch clips with the sound off (unless you want to be one of those irritating people who everyone can hear on the phone). Fortunately, captions make all this both possible and easy. They fill us in on what’s being said without us having to listen to it, anywhere, and at any time.

2. To keep up with culture

We live in a scroll down, click culture on social media. Take Facebook as an example. On Facebook, the average person is eligible to see around 1500 posts a day on their feed. Let’s be honest: there’s no way they’re going to read them all. Hence the perfected art of skim reading. Captions aid this process by giving you a gist of what’s going on in a video without having to over commit.

3. Making your content accessible

Using captions is an essential for widening your audience and making your content accessible for all. Another interesting fact for you, one in five people in the UK are either deaf or hard of hearing, approximately 12 million adults. Not catering for these people can mean missing out on a sizeable chunk of your market. And it’s not just those with hearing disabilities that benefit from captions, they also provide helpful assistance to those with learning difficulties who may take longer processing information or prefer reading to listening to information. One last group to think about is people with English as a second language. It’s easy to forget that while 60% of all websites and social media is in English, far less than 60% of the world have it as a first language.

4. An SEO boost

It’s a no-brainer that the more times your video appears in search results, the more viewed it is likely to be. Captions are a great way of improving the chances of your video showing up. The reason for this is that search engines and social media search tools crawl text rather than video or audio. This is why captions, subtitles, descriptions and transcripts full of keywords all give a large SEO boost, which in turn significantly drives up your web traffic and views.

5. Making your content professional

Last but not least, there is in fact an aesthetic impact on having subtitles on your video. When stylish but not overbearing, captions and subtitles give your video a polished professional look. Smart, slick content is both a magnet of viewers and sells your brand and product effectively. A topical example – many Conservative leadership contenders have launched their campaigns with slick looking videos, complete with, you guessed it, captions. This includes Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt. So if you want to look like you mean business, use captions!


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