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Advertise & Branding

TikTok: To Do or Not To Do

Originally published
Originally published: 7/1/2024

These days,  a lot of buzz is building around using short-form videos and apps like TikTok for your HVAC company. At the same time, we're hearing that TikTok could be banned … so the question becomes, is this a platform that you should be spending your time on? TikTok has some significant advantages, especially for trade companies. But what if you start using it, and it disappears? Or if you’re completely against it, how can you still incorporate short-form videos into your social media strategy? Here’s what to do. 

Advantages of TikTok

 TikTok offers a lot of advantages for your HVAC company’s social media strategy. One of the biggest is the way that the TikTok algorithm works compared with other social media platforms. TikTok shows content based on what the consumer likes rather than who they know. What does this mean for you? This means that TikTok is one of the easiest platforms to reach people without spending any money on ads. This also means that you don't have to have followers in order to get views on your content, get engagement on your content and grow your following quickly. Plus, the platform hasn't been around as long as the other ones, so there are more viewers than content, giving you room to show up. 

Video is also a really great way to showcase your personality. When it comes to being a home service company, your branding, your story and your people are what set you apart. It's hard to convey that just using pictures or graphics. Utilizing video, you can actually interview your team, you can get your team to teach things, and then you can share personality using trends. All of these things will help set you apart not only on TikTok, but you can take these videos and put them on all of the other platforms to help increase your reach and your brand awareness. Videos also perform well in ads on both TikTok and the Meta platforms. One of the most significant advantages of using ads is that you are able to target the exact people that you are trying to reach. So whether you're utilizing short-form video for organic content, paid ads or lead generation, it can be a great advantage to you.

You don’t want to be on TikTok

Let's say that you don't even want to get started on TikTok. Just because you don't want to be on TikTok does not mean that you should not  create videos. All of the social media platforms prioritize videos, such as the short-form videos we see on TikTok. So, even if you are not going to be on TikTok, video should still be a part of your content strategy for social media. You can post these videos on YouTube shorts, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even on your website. Short-form videos are one of the easiest and most consistent ways to reach the most people.

We have an approach called the 3X3 strategy that we like to use to create videos. We use TikTok as our primary editing tool and trend source, but you can use any platform as your main one in this strategy. Most of the content that is being created can be easily rolled over to other platforms. Honestly, a lot of the content that we're watching on YouTube or Instagram is actually repurposed or reposted TikTok videos. Let’s get into it. The 3x3 strategy looks like this: three different types of videos that you're creating, posting on three different platforms and posting three times a week. 

Video Type 1: B-Roll

The first type of video is a really low-effort type of video. B-roll is just a video of people doing things. It can be a tripod set up while the techs are doing an install. You can create it while trucks are rolling out of the driveway or during a meeting or a team building activity. It doesn't really matter what it is; what matters is that your brand is visible, your people are visible, and the video quality is pretty good (cell phone quality is fine). Usually, b-roll videos are about 7 seconds long, we use sound from one of the platforms and add text on the screen that shares information, whether it be educational or transformational. It could even be something about an offer you're promoting or something about your business in general. This type of video can perform very, very well on multiple platforms, and it doesn't really take a lot of effort.

Video Type 2: Talking Head

This type of video takes a little bit more effort, but it also gives you a little bit more bang for your buck. Short-form videos are just that — they're short. They don’t need to be longer than 60 seconds. So, a talking head video is a clip of you sharing a bit of information or talking, and we can see your head. What should you talk about? You can go and look at the blog post your SEO company has written for you. These are excellent sources of information about what your talking head videos can be about because they typically answer questions that people search for on the internet. Talking head videos usually don't need too much editing since they are usually just videos of somebody sharing information. Add some closed captioning so that if people don't have the sound on, they can still read what you're saying, add a title, and again, this video can perform well on all the different platforms.

Video Type 3: Trending

Trending videos can be a couple of different things. Sometimes, you'll see ideas that are trending across social platforms. For example, there was an idea last year about a Halloween ghost photo shoot so we had some clients that did it, and it was enjoyable. It put them in the middle of the trend, and it performed well for them. There are some other really easy trending videos you can do using a free app called CapCut. You’ve seen these a lot in ,short-form videos where it's a movie that you've seen before or a person speaking, and it's put on top of a photo with relatable text on the screen. CapCut templates are easy to use because you're not really making a video, you're using a template and adding a photo. It could even be a stock photo and then adding something relatable on the screen. Another type of trending video is using a trending sound that you hear on TikTok or Instagram and maybe mouthing the words or doing whatever it is that other people who are using the sound are doing. 

The next part of the 3x3 strategy is straightforward — post three times a week to three different platforms. We usually choose to post on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And post them to TikTok, Reels and YouTube Shorts.

This strategy will easily 10x your views without adding a ton of effort.

Regardless of what platform you prefer, I personally like TikTok because of the editing  features. You can start editing videos from any platform and repurpose them onto every platform. If you want to create videos with a video editor, you can use something like Descript or CapCut and then post them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The point is, whether or not you are using TikTok, short-form video needs to be a part of your social media strategy. Video is where the eyeballs are, it is what the algorithm favors. You can get way more views on your videos than you can on a static piece of content. Do not sleep on short-form video, even if TikTok isn't for you.

Protect yourself in case of a ban

TikTok has been in the news off and on for almost five years, pretty much since it's been around, with the question of banishment coming up as well. A  Chinese company called ByteDance owns TikTok, but all of the TikTok subsidiary is housed in the United States and Singapore. ByteDance is a privately owned company with 60% owned by global investors, including some in the United States. As of 2022, Project Texas meant that  Oracle in Austin, Texas, holds all of TikTok’s data. There is a lot of controversy surrounding TikTok, but compared with other social media platforms that are also collecting an abundance of our data, it’s getting heavily scrutinized. 

If you are already utilizing TikTok as a part of your strategy, it’s essential to protect your content in case of a ban. I always recommend backing up all of your videos. We use a website called repurpose.io. It’s inexpensive if you and your team are using it, and you can set it up to automatically back up your content into Google Drive. This means no matter what happens to any platform, whether they're down or up or something else, you always have access to the videos that you have posted and created with TikTok. Repurpose.io is also really great for quickly reposting your videos on to all of the other platforms like the 3x3 strategy mentions.

Along with that, make sure that you are taking your TikTok videos and posting them on other platforms. Don’t just put all of your eggs in the TikTok basket. This is where that 3x3 method really comes into play. Make sure that your Instagram and YouTube accounts are connected to your TikTok profile to keep building your social media simultaneously. Make sure that you're building community and giving attention to platforms other than TikTok. But as a home service provider, I do believe that you're already doing this. Because as you know, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  

The bottom line is whether or not TikTok is around, short-form videos are here and deserve your attention right now. When it comes to your overall organic social media strategy and your paid social media strategy, spending time creating short-form videos is going to pay off in the long run. They are highly engaging and a great way to showcase your personality, and they are what people are watching and consuming on social media these days. 


Jen McKee is the founder of Kee Hart Marketing, a social media marketing agency that specializes in organic and paid strategies for contractors. Contact her at jen@keehartmarketing.com or online at www.keehartmarketing.com.

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