Illustration of customers using TikTok for energy utility

Should Your Energy Utility Have a TikTok Account?

The popular video-sharing app TikTok has been making headlines lately. It may leave you wondering if you’re missing out by not connecting with customers on the trendy social media platform. But does your energy utility really need a TikTok account?

It depends.

Every company that embraces the world of social media needs to go into it knowing that each platform attracts very different audiences. This is true especially for energy utilities.

Instead of jumping onto every new social media fad, take time to evaluate your energy utility’s marketing goals and understand the value of each platform. You don’t need a presence on every platform; you need a presence on the right platforms for your brand and audience.

What is TikTok?

TikTok allows users to create and share short-form videos that can range from 15 seconds to three minutes long. Creators sync videos with trending sounds and songs, as they perform dances, act out skits or offer informational tips and tricks. Basically, TikTok offers a bit of everything to its more than 1 billion monthly active users who tune in to laugh, learn or simply be entertained by quick video content.

How to determine if TikTok is the right social platform for your energy utility

Before creating a new account for your energy utility, follow this five-step process to determine how TikTok fits into your social media strategy.

  1. Know your engagement goals
  2. Determine if TikTok is the best platform to focus on
  3. Identify if your audience uses TikTok
  4. Analyze your analytics options
  5. Draft a content strategy

Know your engagement goals

What are you trying to achieve with social media? Are you trying to drive program participation, share informational content or simply just “show up”? Know what is motivating your energy utility to join a new social media platform before you jump in.

Determine if TikTok is the best platform to focus on

With other social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can simply take premade content and post it. TikTok, on the other hand, requires you to research trending topics, hashtags, sounds and songs, visual effects and more to create a relevant video that people will want to watch. The most successful videos utilize trending sounds, hashtags and challenges. Before starting your account, decide if you have the resources needed to support a TikTok account.

Identify if your audience uses TikTok

Like all marketing efforts, you should focus on the platforms and channels that help you reach your target audience. Look into the demographics of each social media platform you’re interested in using, starting with TikTok.

The age groups that use TikTok and Facebook differ, according to the Pew Research Center.

TikTok:

  • 21% of U.S. adults
  • 48% of 18- to 29-year-olds
  • 22% of 30- to 49-year-olds
  • 14% of 50- to 64-year-olds

Facebook:

  • 69% of U.S. adults
  • 70% of 18- to 29-year-olds
  • 77% of 30- to 49-year-olds
  • 73% of 50- to 64-year-olds

There is a plethora of research available on the demographics of any social platform. Use these resources to your advantage to decide which is right to reach your energy utility’s target audience.

Analyze your analytics options

Each social media platform has its own realm of analytics to monitor your engagement, reach, follower count and more. Still, every platform is different.

All TikTok accounts have access to analytics, but you’ll need a Business Account (formerly known as a Pro Account) to gain deeper access to metrics. Even then, some metrics show seven days’ worth of data, while others offer a seven- or 28-day look into the past. And any metrics related to time of day are not presented in your local timezone — they’re in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) — so you’ll need to convert them before interpreting the data.

Make sure TikTok’s analytics options will support your utility’s engagement goals.

Draft a content strategy

Lastly, you’ll want to develop a content strategy that will put your energy utility on the map and determine if — and how — TikTok fits in. Do you want to stick with infographics, articles and quizzes? Or are you willing to produce your own videos, showing your lineworkers in action or listing ways to save energy and money that sync to a popular song? Decide if TikTok fits into your overall content strategy before dedicating time and resources to the social platform.

TikTok Content Strategy for Energy Utilities

Engaging TikTok videos can take on different forms, from comedic performances to strictly informative tips. Choose one — or a mix of several — of these formats to achieve your energy utility’s social media goals.

  • Education. Teach customers how to read their energy bill or how time-of-use rates work through informative videos.
  • Life Hacks. Whether it’s changing an air filter or switching to LEDs, offer your audience ways to save energy with quick tips.
  • Awareness. Inform viewers of your utility’s efforts when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to build trust and encourage adoption of products and solutions.
  • Comedy. Share safety tips and do’s and don’ts in the form of an entertaining story to educate viewers and put a smile on their face.
  • Connecting with younger audiences. More than half of the U.S. population is now the Millennial generation and younger. Match the fun tone and hop on trends to engage with this audience on TikTok.

Examples of Effective Energy Utility Content for TikTok

These content creators found creative and engaging ways to communicate energy education, tips and advice with TikTok videos.

Twin Home Experts expose caulking mistakes and share DIY home improvement hacks in this engaging video.

@twinhomeexperts

The ULTIMATE in Re-Caulking …..#caulking #tub #shower #foryou #plumbing #twinhomeexperts

♬ original sound – Twin home experts

Fayette Electric Cooperative used a trending sound and completed a fun challenge while promoting its Youth Tour to Washington.

@fayetteelectric

apply now! deadline is jan. 21, 2022. #googleearthtrend #googleearthchallenge #googleearth #traveltiktok #travel #washingtondc #scholarship #texas

♬ original sound – Ian Asher

Loxone Electronics shared quick tips to cut electricity costs with captions, making the video more accessible for viewers.

@loxone.electronics

Tips for saving up to 500$ in electricity costs per year 💵 #loxone #homeautomation #smarthome #electricbill #energysaving #fyp

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

Waste-Ed utilized a voiceover and edited video footage to communicate the benefits of charging with solar energy quickly and effectively.

@getwasteed

Ready to swap your phone charger for a window solar panel? 📹grouphugsolar (IG) #solarenergy #chargingphone #renewableenergy #savingenergy

♬ A-Punk – Vampire Weekend

Best Practices for Energy Utilities on TikTok

If you decide to dive in and create a TikTok account for your energy utility, these tips can help you create successful content.

  • Use Hashtags. Hashtags can boost your visibility and reach, allowing users to find your content more easily. You can even search hashtags you use often to keep an eye on what other creators are posting.
  • Utilize Your Knowledge. Who better to offer energy-saving tips to customers than their own energy utility? Share quick fix ideas or behind-the-scenes information about utility operations to build that relationship with your audience.
  • Use Music. Sound is integral to TikTok videos. Use voiceovers and music that match the tone of your video, and time any actions or footage to match the beat. Explore sound playlists to find inspiration and trending sounds to help your videos stand out.
  • Be Authentic. Being genuine and personal helps users see the humans behind the company. Don’t be afraid to try something new and add some personality to your content.

Make sure a TikTok account is right for your energy utility

How your energy utility uses social media is more important than how many platforms it’s on. Make sure you research each social media platform and analyze how it aligns with your goals before you take on the responsibility of managing and monitoring yet another social account.

Be wary, too, of social media trends that barely outlast the latest internet meme. Remember Vine? Neither do we. Be prepared to adjust your strategy with social media as the industry grows and develops.

Interested in creating a social media strategy for your energy utility but don’t know where to begin? Questline can help.