Auto captioning a live video on Facebook

Photo of an eagle and eaglet in a nest next to words that say
Facebook Live –  ways to increase accessibility

Facebook’s live broadcasting is getting a lot of attention and can be a valuable way to connect to audiences, expand your reach, and share experiences with others. Facebook is currently working to make things more accessible so that anyone can tune in. At the USFWS’s National Conservation Training Center they have been doing live with automated captions. They still need editing afterward, but details for setting it up can be found below. The following instructions were graciously shared from Melissa Gonzalez at the National Conservation Training Center.

First, you will need to monitor your live video using Facebook Live Producer.

Here’s one way to get there

  1. Start your live video using a mobile phone or computer.
  2. After going live, use a computer browser to visit your Facebook page.
  3. Once on your page, go to “Publishing Tools”. You can find this option in different places, depending on the Facebook View you’re on (“Classic View” or “New Facebook”).
  4. Go to “Published Posts” and click on your live video.
  5. A new window with a preview of your post will open. Click on the ellipsis on the top right, select “Edit Post”. This will take you to open your live video, on a tool called “Facebook Live Producer“.

    1_OpeningFacebook_Live_Producer (1)
    Open Facebook Live Producer and select ‘edit post’.

Next, enable the auto-generated captioning feature

Using the Facebook Live Producer tool

  1. Look towards the middle of the screen to find a horizontal menu with a couple of options: Stream Setup, Stream Health, Video Clipping, Polls, Questions, Help.
  2. Click on “Stream Setup”.
  3. Scroll down to “Viewing”, check the “Auto-Generated Captions” box.2_StreamSetUp_Auto-GeneratedCaptions_on
    Ensure the auto-generated captions are turned on in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  4. To confirm that your captions have now been enabled, scroll up and hover over that video preview and a couple of options will show up.
  5. Look for the gear or settings icon. Click on the gear or settings icon.
  6. Choose “Captions [auto-generated]” ON. Make sure the slider is blue and says ON.
  7. Your captions will now show on the bottom left side of the live video preview

After you finish your broadcast, it’s important you go back through and double-check those captions. Seeing how the captions auto-populate can be informative and a good reminder to speak clearly.  But going back through and fixing these is an important habit to get into.

Please let me know if you have other tips for making Live more accessible!


Using Image Descriptions and Alt Text on Facebook and Twitter

Using Image Descriptions and Alt Text on Facebook and Twitter

Did you know you can edit the alt text on your Facebook and image descriptions for Twitter photos? It turns out, increasing the accessibility of the images you post may be easier than you think. This can be useful to consider if you aren’t explicitly describing what’s in the photo when you post. By making a few simple tweaks, you can really increase the access of your content.

Editing Alt Text on Facebook

To edit a photo you’ve already uploaded…Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 12.46.21 PM

  1. go to the photo and select options on the bottom right.
  2. Then select “Change Alt Text”.
  3. Click override automatically generated alt text.
  4. This will bring you to a section where you can change the automatically generated text (which is often a bit broad).

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 12.46.13 PM

If you’re uploading a photo for the first time, click “Edit Photo” on the image and add the alt text as you’re creating the post.



Still have questions? This Facebook tutorial may help. 


Image Descriptions on Twitter

  • First step, make sure “Accessibility” image descriptions and video tweets is turned on under your settings.
  • Edit past images uploaded through your studio library on twitter.
  • When uploading an image add the description by clicking on the line under the image that explicitly says “add description”.

Accessibility settings in Twitter

image showing where to add a description

Remember, Keep your description/text brief: 
A question to ask yourself is– what is the main idea being expressed by the image? Your best bet is to describe it in simple language, keeping it brief and precise.  A few words or a short sentence should do the trick. If the image is simply decorative, you also have the option to leave out the alt text.  This is similar for when you’re posting a decorative image on the website but you don’t have to use <img src=”decorative.jpg” alt=“ ”>,  you can just leave blank.

Helpful resources:


What other ways to you help make social media accessible? Please let us know!

Your Facebook Audience Insights

Having trouble getting a handle on who your Facebook audience is? Advertising analytics for your page can be illuminating.  By visiting “Audience Insights” through the Ads Manager, you can start to learn a bit more about the behaviors and how the people in your community differentiate from others.

1) First, go to your “Ads Manager.” page in Facebook. Select “Audience Insights” from the menu at the top left. (In the image below it is grayed out).

Select Audience Insights

2) Select People connected to your page (when prompted). You may be asked to take a tour first.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 12.10.29 PM

3) In the filters on the left side of the page, under “Pages,” enter the name of your Facebook page in the “People Connected to” box. (Know that you can add multiple pages here to compare audiences).

Sometimes your page may be labeled as a place, so if you don’t see it in your options initially, select place in the drop down. 

Start scrolling through some of the information in Insights. By learning overall facts about your audience, you can know what kind of content you want to try. For example, many of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pages have a LOT of science and government employees. This makes sense for now, but we definitely want to broaden our audience.

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 10.01.46 AM

Keep digging and playing and consider your audience whenever you create new content!


Crossposting Videos on Facebook

When Facebook added the crossposting video feature, it opened up an opportunity for brands and organizations to share stats and content behind the scenes (instead of sharing posts from the page). This feature can really help us deliver our videos and combine our efforts. Here are the steps for setting up crossposting.

  1. Go to your page
  2. Select Settings
  3. From the left navigation, select crossposting from the list on the left (see below)

Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 11.00.27 PM

4. Add the page you want to crosspost (Like U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 11.48.12 AM

Allow Others to Crosspost Your Videos

It’s up to the page who originates the video to give you crossposting rights, so you’ll need to coordinate with those page managers if you see a video you would like to crosspost.

  1. Select Publishing Tools (top navigation) 
  2. Click on Video Library (Left navigation)
  3. Hover over video you want to crosspost and hit “edit”Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 11.58.06 AM
  4. Once in the video editor, select the crossposting tab and share it with accounts you have previously added. Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 11.58.29 AMBy crossposting videos, you increase the visibility and it allows both pages to see the stats and performance metrics. If you create a post that gets crossposted often, you will also see how many times it was crossposted by the users you shared it with!
    Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 12.04.58 PM

Goodbye “Use As My Page” – Hello Alternatives

Facebook recently removed the feature “Use as my page” which means that finding your feed and acting on Facebook as your page is still possible, but you’ll have to find it in a different way.

Q: Why don’t I see the the option to use Facebook as the Page I manage?

We’ve deprecated the ability to login and use Facebook as the Page you manage. However, we’ve built parallel features to enable you to do all of the same things you could previously do, without requiring you to use Facebook as your Page.

Q: How do I post to the Page I manage as my Page?

  1. Navigate to the Page you manage
  2. In the composer, you’ll see a small square image with either your Page’s profile picture or your personal profile picture. Click on the downward arrow next to this image. This will allow you to toggle between your personal profile and the Page(s) you manage.
  3. Select the icon of the Page you want to post as
  4. Hit publish

Q: How do I see My Page’s Newsfeed?

  1. Navigate to your Page
  2. Select “View Pages Feed” under your Page’s profile picture
    Note that the option to view the Pages Feed will only be visible if the Page you manage has liked other Pages.
     See page feed

Q: How can I see my Page’s notifications?

  1. Navigate to your Page
  2. On the white navigation bar at the top of your Page, select “Notifications”

Q: How can I see my Page’s messages?

  1. Navigate to your Page
  2. On the white navigation bar at the top of your Page , select “Messages”

Q: How do I post to another Page as the Page I manage?

  1. Navigate to the Page you manage
  2. In the composer, you’ll see a small flag icon. Click on the icon. This will allow you to toggle between your personal profile and the Page(s) you manage.
  3. Select the icon of the Page you want to post as
  4. Post

Q: How do I like or comment on a post by my Page as the Page I manage?

  1. Navigate to the Page you manage
  2. Scroll to the post you wish to comment on
  3. On that post you’ll see a small square image with either your Page’s profile picture or your personal profile picture. Click on the downward arrow next to this image. This will allow you to toggle between your personal profile and the Page(s) you manage. Select the Page you wish to comment as.
  4. Comment on the post

Q: How do I like or comment on a post another Page has made as the Page I manage?

  1. Navigate to the Page with the post you wish to like or comment on
  2. Scroll to the post you wish to like or comment on
  3. Click on the flag icon on the bottom right side of the post
  4. Select the Page you want to comment or like as

Q: How do I like another Page as my Page?

  1. Navigate to the Page you wish to like
  2. In the cover photo next to the like and message options, click on “…”
  3. Select “Like as your Page”
  4. You’ll see a dropdown menu which will allow you to pick which of the Pages you manage to like this Page as

Q: To unlike a Page that the Page you manage likes:

  1. Navigate to the Page you wish to unlike
  2. In the cover photo next to the like and message options, click on “…”
  3. Select “Remove from my Page’s favorites”
  4. You’ll see a dropdown menu which will allow you to pick which of the Pages you manage you want to stop liking this Page

The Wild Life of Social Media and Content Strategy

I was honored to present a workshop and keynote at the J.Boye Conference about using social media to enhance your content strategy. The incredibly intelligent and savvy web users from all over the globe that attended this conference taught me a few new tricks for improving the way we work online to better engage with our constituents. From improving usability, creating a customer experience people actually want to engaging with generation y, all gave me new information to chew on and digest.

Janus Boye and Danielle BrigidaAside from using the digital ecosystem to reach new people, engage better with customers, build out higher quality services, and expand how people use technology and engage with entities, they also let me geek out about wildlife and how we’re exploring using technology to create a more transparent and responsive approach for our Government agency.

I also wrote about how we’re expanding on successful interactions can create a more enriching experience and give people more context. We hope we can make use of the way people use social media to inform and arm those with the facts they find interesting. As we continue to learn more about how we can serve as a resource, it’s incredibly important to go to conferences like this one to learn best practices across many entities.

Trail Guide for Facebook – Tips and Tricks

Trail guideFacebook is constantly changing, but in recent talks with them, it’s apparent that some things are working better than others.

  1. Be Social – Tag other pages, share other people’s content, like other pages and get comfortable using your page like a profile on Facebook. When you do take the time to post, nurture comments and discussion on the post.
  2. Post More Video -Videos are doing well on Facebook’s algorithm right now, and our videos of wildlife would be no exception. Please encourage the use of the *USFWS logo on the video and captioning if there are any words spoken*. Whatever video that’s taken on Facebook should also be posted to our Youtube account so that we make the content as accessible as possible.
  3. Post Often – Quality should come before quantity, but posting often gives you more of a chance to reach more people.
  4. Play with the Platform – Sometimes text heavy posts perform well but if there’s a call to action, keep things short. The best advice is to play with the platform and strive to be different.
  5. Consider Driving Traffic to Our Site – Instead of creating Facebook events- why not share a link to the place to register on our website? Don discussed the benefits of making it easy for people and sending them where we want them to go on our site.
  6. Learn More About Your Audience – Good social media means knowing your audience, and Facebook allows you to do so even using the ad manager even if you aren’t creating an ad. First, go here, then make sure under  “People Connected” make sure you’ve selected the page you want to know more about. Otherwise you can use this link to analyze Facebook’s user base.
  7. Merge Duplicate Pages- It has been available to us for some time to merge pages, recognizing that you lose things from the page you merge into the other.

When Posting Images…

  • Use Square Photos – The images from Facebook show up better as a landscape rather than portrait style (Around 940px by 788px)
  • With Graphics, Use Less than 20% Text – Text heavy images get ignored by users, so just be sure to follow the rule of using less text.
  • Upload Multiple Images – Instead of creating an album on Facebook, Facebook suggested uploading multiple images as a good technique. *Just please encourage a credit by any field staff so we have proper documentation*.** For USFWS staff

Create Facebook Interest Lists to Listen and Stay Organized

Facebook interest lists
As someone who is constantly trying to break the social tools I use to get people thinking about wildlife, Facebook’s ability to create interest lists has been an incredibly effective way for me to keep tabs on a variety of subjects.

What is a Facebook Interest List?
The simple answer is that an interest list is a collection of pages or profiles on Facebook. By creating lists, Facebook allows you to organize and have some control over posts you see other than the standard algorithm they decide for you. When you group pages or subject matter experts, they call them interest lists and this allows you to see timely updates from pages that are part of the lists you follow.
List of USFWS pages

How do you create one?
Most of the lists I have created are collecting pages that represent subject matter experts, an interest or offer resources around wildlife. Creating a list for your own personal or professional needs is quite simple and really the first step is having an idea of what you’d like to include in your list.

You don’t even have to “like” a page to add it to an interest. So technically, you can watch and observe posts from pages that you don’t want to publicly like through these lists.

After you’ve created your lists, they will appear in your “bookmarks” section on the left hand side of your home feed.

Searching Facebook InterestsSearch through Facebook interests.
If you’re looking to create lists that can serve as a resource for others, consider creating a public interest list that others can follow (very similar to the public lists on Twitter). You can also search for subjects and follow other public lists if you don’t want to create your own.

While the list has actually been out for several years, I feel like it is often a forgotten tactic in managing and listening on Facebook. Twitter lists are another similar resource, and I’ve found that by grouping by passion or subject, you can keep tabs on the conversations while being apart of a larger conversation.

Sample lists I’ve made:

This may surprise you, most of my lists deal with wildlife. But you can make a list that collects and organizes any of your favorite pages that post updates you like. Have you ever used an interest list? If so, what was it?

Thank You for 8 Incredible Years at National Wildlife Federation


After 8 years of building up NWF’s social communities, I have decided to leave to help run the social entities at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I wanted to share with my beloved online friends what I shared with my colleagues at National Wildlife Federation– as much of the words ring true for the people I worked with while I was there.

NWF Social Media Update Q2 2013So, to all of my nonprofit techies and counterparts, to the incredible coalitions, partners and groups I’ve had the pleasure to work with, and for the absolutely amazing and inspiring group of NWF supporters I’ve gotten to know over the years, please read these words and know how grateful I am. I will continue to pledge to do the best work I can for both the communities and wildlife.

Thank you all for being wonderful to work with for wildlife.. I’m looking forward to working hard at USFWS to make a difference.


To My Dearest NWF Family,

I gave serious consideration to writing a “goodbye tweet” instead of email, but the truth is, I have loved this place for so long that 140 characters isn’t going to cut it.

My last day at NWF will officially be October 29th. That being said, I will continue being an avid fan and NWF supporter in my personal life until the end of my days.

The truth is, working for NWF had always been my dream job since childhood and I’m incredibly honored and humbled by what I was able to accomplish while I was here, with the help of all of you. We’ve made impressive strides blending fun content, our mission and the passion of people online to see real results and learn valuable lessons. I’ve learned so much about each facet of how we do business here thanks to the 14 bosses, 4 departments and 6 job descriptions I’ve had since I started back in 2006. I look forward to following the future growth of NWF and hope to work with all of you at some point in the future.

I’m not going far. Starting November 3rd, I will be working at the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

I thought it only appropriate that I write a blog for you all about what I loved about this place and what I will miss.

5 Reasons I’m Thankful for the National Wildlife Federation

1. The People: You are the smartest, most talented and hilarious colleagues a person could ask for. I have always loved wildlife, but it’s impossible to work for NWF and not love the people too. You all do incredible work and should feel validated daily by the strides you are making for wildlife. The amount of work people do in this organization is astounding and you should be proud of that. I feel so fortunate I got to work with everyone from regional staff, affiliates, partners, board members and more to figure out how we all could use social media for wildlife. I loved that the online world reminded us that we weren’t so far apart after all.

2. The Incredible Office BuildingHQ

The HQ building served as a constant reminder why I work here and not some for-profit muckity muck :). It was behind our building I spotted my first pileated woodpecker cavity nest, noticed dwarf ginseng in impressive numbers and spent hours observing for wood frogs, box turtles and various snake species (I’ve seen 6) as I thought through our social strategy and how to bring offline-online. I took walks with Craig Tufts and spent time investigating trees and noticing nuances during various check-ins or after rigorous meetings. This building has been a source of inspiration and a great reminder as to why we have to create a space for wildlife in every day life to be happy.

3. You Let Me Try Out New Ideas – My job as a social media nutcase got grounding back in 2006 when Kristin Johnson gave me control over our Myspace page with 25 friends. The rest is history— we are now well over 1 million fans and followers across platforms. It takes an amazing organization to accommodate a change in the way NWF did for someone like me. It is because of this our work is mentioned in dozens of books and hundreds of articles around our leadership in social media. As many of you know, I present about 25 times a year about using social media and NWF was always incredibly supportive and a true thought leader amongst nonprofits in this realm. I am impressed with any place that adjusts to changing times. I will certainly miss how innovative this place is!


4. I Got To Make Friends for a Living – This one is pretty self-explanatory, but one of the best social media concepts I learned while at NWF is to treat social media supporters just like your friends. That means- banish the use of the phrase “PUSH IT OUT” and think of connecting with people on social media as making new friends. My job at NWF taught me how to never forget that real people are behind social media handles and that if you treat them with respect and communicate with them in ways they want to be talked to— you can empower so many.

5. The Mission: All for Wildlife – I’m so grateful I got to communicate on wildlife issues in funny ways, serious ways, and informational ways, all while experimenting and working with our programs and initiatives to introduce our work to our online supporters. We were constantly working to make our work more relevant and approachable. I am so honored I got to hold a position where I had an excuse to talk about amazing wildlife and ecosystems.

You all are in fantastic hands with Dani Tinker when it comes to social media as she’s been an astounding help when it comes to community engagement and content creation. I’ll be around through the end of the month so please reach out if you need anything. Looking forward to staying in touch.
Double Dare-1

All for Wildlife,


I promise to stay goofy despite this change. 🙂


5 Tools for Tracking Hashtags Like #WildlifeWeek

National Wildlife Week is one of NWF’s oldest programs and one of my all time favorites to track. The history of National Wildlife Week is rich and geared heavily toward providing materials for schools and educators to celebrate different wildlife species. It makes for an excellent program for social media and every year I find fun ways to track the reach and engagement. This year– I compiled a few ways I tracked hashtags across platforms. Do you use additional programs? Let me know!

1) Tagboard

Tagboard tracks mentions of hashtags across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Vine and It pulls all of the mentions into one place and allows you to even title the hashtag if you create an account.
#WildlifeWeek on Tagboard

2)Topsy (Both Analytics and Search)

This tool has both pro and free versions and I highly recommend using the free version to do a search on how your hashtag is performing.


I even compared #WildlifeWeek with #NationalWildlifeWeek to see how people used the hashtags.

NWW Topsy

3) HashAtIt

This site shows the hashtag results for the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and   Hashtag Search


4) Hashtracking

This site allows for free trials so if you’re looking to test something out for tracking purposes it is a good place to start.

5) Tweet Binder

Tweet binder has a number of reports that generate when you use it. From contributor information to number of tweets– this is a very thorough tool for tracking hashtags.

While I didn’t use them this time around- I have used and been happy with Rowfeeder, and a number of other Twitter tracking tools- but this year I tracked with these five. What tools do you track your events with?