Social Security Scam Alert!

Cathy Social Security 16x9“PLEASE, DO NOT RESPOND IN ANYWAY TO A CALL THAT SAYS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IS SUSPENDED AND YOU MUST CALL BACK. JUST DON’T DO IT.”

Those are the words of advice from Cathy Sikorski. Moreover, it is information that we should all work together to spread the word about. It is not common knowledge as much as it may seem. This is especially true for our elderly loved ones whose alertness may not be what it once was during their younger days.

CathySikorskiSpeaker-Interfaith Gala
Cathy Sikorski

These calls are fully capable of being relentless. In numerous cases after repeated calls, the numbers have been blocked only to be followed by more calls with the same message from new numbers.

For more detailed information about this current wave of calls I would like to invite you to listen to Cathy during a recent phone interview. The interview also covers other various fraudulent tactics to be aware of online as well as by telephone. You can find more information about Cathy at CathySikorski.com and follow her on Twitter @cathy_sikorski.

We also would like to thank Donna Cavanagh from Corner Office Books and HumorOutcasts.com for her support regarding this issue.

For your convenience the interview is available below at the bottom of this post. The podcast episode is also available on most of the major podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and on your favorite Alexa device under the “Billy Dees Podcast.”

The episode is titled on these services as:

Cathy Sikorski with Billy Dees – Social Security Scam Alert

Welcome to My Tik Tok Don’t Scroll Up Turn the Heart Red!

The Next Big Thing_ Maybe...It’s pretty near impossible these days to do any kind of marketing without being aware of social media platforms. One of the new social media apps that keeps coming up more and more in conversation is TikTok.

For me, doing social media marketing is very much akin to being a politician. I always keep my options open. For this reason I seldom dismiss a new platform out of hand. The bright and shiny object off in the distance today can morph into the way things are done a year from now.

“TikTok is just for kids.” Okay.

Remember when Facebook was just for juvenile college students? Instagram was what your kids were playing with in the backseat? Before we knew it our competition had thousands of followers on their business pages and we were fumbling with how to set up our pages to catch up.

I have noticed this pattern of progression for most successful social media platforms. They generally start with kids as the primary members. Then they are followed by adults, many of whom were introduced to the platform by their children. That brings in more adults. As the population of users grow, influencers on the platform begin to emerge. Then, brands and advertisers follow.

During the first quarter of 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded (non-game) app in the Apple store globally reaching 45.8 million downloads. It is estimated that TikTok currently has over 500 million active users worldwide, and other data trackers put that number considerably higher.

I have spent some time experimenting with the app as a user. I wouldn’t refer to myself as a TikTok pro but this is what I’ve learned. TikTok is a video sharing app. If you use the app you can record for 15 seconds or upload your videos up to a minute long. The app itself has some nice special effects for video and graphics that are easy to incorporate into your content. If you amass a thousand followers this enables you to live-stream.

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance. They purchased Musical.ly during November 2017 and merged the two platforms internationally in 2018. TikTok has many of its forerunner’s traits, including many dance and lip-syncing videos.  At this time, by my estimation, this musically driven content has a dominance on the platform. A popular feature seems to be “duet,” which allows a user to lip-sync along with another user’s video.

However, influencers and brands are arriving. There are influencers well into middle-age and beyond on the app giving tips on everything from buying cars to how to stay motivated at life.

I don’t know if this shiny object will brighten or fade away, but TikToK is off to a fantastic start. I would stop short of saying that I would make TikTok a priority at this time but if you create content for other platforms anyway why not repurpose it for TikTok as well?

If you decide to do so you may wish to follow these three suggestions:

  • First, I would not follow or follow back accounts that do not have content or are listed as private.
  • Second, choose several hashtag subjects or genres of content to search. Interact with and like the content that interests you from the results of your search. Choose several dozen accounts that are creating good content and follow them.
  • Third, create good content of your own and utilize the proper hashtags when posting it. Be sure to acknowledge all of the positive feedback that you get. My general rule of thumb is to not engage negative comments on any platform.

If you care to say hello on TikTok you can find me at @billydees01

Happy social media marketing to you!