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Social Media
Copywriter: Sam Jones, PR Assistant, YouCom Direct


Social Media Marketing is a relatively new term for brand advertising often abbreviated as SMM. SMM is a form of online marketing that uses social networking websites as a marketing tool to create brand exposure and engagement. The objective of SMM is simple; to produce content that users will want to share with their social network.  

Social media sites represent opportunities for citation listings. A site where your brand is mentioned that will come up in natural search. As such they form good additions to online business directories. Foursquare & Google Places for example are well known sites for listing address and contact details with mapping functionality.  

The key to SMM is Social Media Optimisation (SMO). Like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), SMO is a marketing strategy similarly designed to increase natural search for a company site by attracting new and unique visitors.  

YouCom Direct manage client’s social media optimisation by agency management of status updates, tweets or news/blog posts. But SMO can also be achieved by adding social media links to content like RSS feeds and share buttons such as the Pin it button for Pinterest.  

Social Media Marketing is the new modern marketing method where brands can gain direct feedback from customers and customer leads. Consumers can engage with the brand and start a dialogue. This makes them more likely to have a long customer journey with you than with a competitor. The management of customers has long been known as CRM, but social media creates a new avenue to conduct CRM and is in effect a whole new marketing tool becoming known as SCRM or Social CRM. Social Media has become one of the most effective marketing tools to retain customers.  

Myspace began the trend, but like many new marketing methods it requires mainstream adoption before it can be classed as a new tool. With the exponential growth of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, SMM has established itself in the modern marketing person’s vocabulary.  

Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

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SMM – Social media marketing

SMO – Social media optimisation

SEO – Search engine optimisation

CRM – Customer retention marketing

SCRM – Social CRM

Required reference:
‘YouCom Direct News Article, Mar 2015, London, ‘Social Media Strategy’.


Search Engine Marketing


“You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad” says a CTR study. Photographs have a much better chance of attracting local search consumers.   Many professionals now believe that banner ads just don’t work. 60% of consumers do not remember the last display ad they saw, according to Online Media Daily.


We’ve become used to ignoring display ads. We have altered our behaviour to look down a webpage and not even register they are there. It’s true isn’t it?

Mobile banner ads also no longer work but for another reason. According to GoldSpot Media, up to 50% of clicks on mobile ads are by accident, effectively increasing the cost per sale as the conversion rate of click to lead falls substantially.

This is where Photography is now more crucial to the promotion of a business. For directory listings, a photo of a store can represent the brand in a powerful way using store signage to convey brand strengths.

In-store images can also demonstrate staff service and convey key elements such as trust and reliability. If the business sells other brand products, images of those brands products or brand logos can also persuade the customer to call your business listing rather than a competitor.  

Spot the difference -which would you call?



Brand engagement

More consumers now engage with brands on social media if they post photographs and our own Twitter feed serves as an example of high engagement from the use of good photographs; 

The impact of Photos in Business Directory Listings by YouCom Direct

In the case of business directory listings, you must display your products and services professionally. A good quality photo will enhance your business’ PR regardless if you end up using it for online or for printed directory adverts… DM fliers delivered door-to-door or given out at an exhibition or event are much more likely to be read rather than thrown away if there is a photo that grabs the attention.  

Where can you get photographs /images from?

YouCom Direct recommend either:

Use your own photographs
Buy stock images
Pay for a professional photographer

At YouCom Direct we see so many companies using their own photographs and it is instantly noticeable. If they don’t look professional then they make your company appear unprofessional. For example most images of store signage have been taken without using a light diffuser. Buildings appear dark or show the wrong shadows. Worse, the brand appears inconsistent (the pet hate of every public relations department) with some stores photographed head-on, some from the side, some in poor lighting, others over exposed etc.

Stock photos can look perfect, but they can look ‘too-perfect’ (airbrushing or digital enhancements may not be noticeable to you or your agency but your consumers will notice). With stock images you will also need the correct license to avoid legal problems. Plus don’t forget if you can buy them, so can your competitors.

Paying a good photographer will cost more, but the images are likely to be unique to your company with exclusive owners’ rights to use them.

Most people mistakenly think that if an image has been copied from a search engine, it is unlikely the owner will ever find out they are being used
Sadly, this is not true. Many photos are digital rights managed and we can assure you their use is easily detectable.

There are many free images available, however you will often find it difficult to obtain a good quality image plus of course everyone wants to use free images right?

Many agencies such as YouCom Direct will have a much larger image library than your PR department and can provide you with royalty-free images for whatever keywords you wish to show in the image. Often clients think they will have to pay if they ask their agency for images, but that depends on the agency. A good agency, will be able to help with your presentation or report, by supplying a great photo within the current agency service fee (i.e. no cost).

In summary; you’re paying for business directory listings because the people who use those sites are more likely to be looking for a business to buy from. So make the advertising work better for you. Invest in the right photographs of quality and you will be using them for many years to come.  

Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.


Our Twitter news
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Required reference:

‘YouCom Direct News Article, Nov 2014, London, ‘The impact of photographs on business directory listings’


In a twice yearly survey of teenage consumer spend patterns, Investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray examines a research pool of 7,200 consumers, average age 16 years. Their findings help their account service teams to advise major clients of likely future trends.  

This October, the key social media finding has been a shift away from Facebook towards Instagram and Twitter. In just 6 months since the spring, Facebook fell by 27%. Twitter usage also fell but only by 4%. Instagram was the biggest beneficiary of 7%.   For marketers of products aimed at an older audience, these findings of course represent delayed action. They are the adults of tomorrow. Facebook will represent a viable social media tool to communicate with consumers, manage customer sentiment and generate good SEO for a brand, but Twitter per this survey, represents a more stable communication platform for both today and tomorrow.   67% of those surveyed own iPhones and 73% of those expect their next mobile to be an iPhone.    

Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

Our Twitter news
Our Tumblr news
Our Pinterest news
Our LinkedIn news

Data sources:
Piper Jaffray, Investment Bank and Asset Management, Taking Stock with Teens Survey, Oct 2014.

Required reference:
‘YouCom Direct News Article, Oct 2014, London, ‘Social media shift among teen market’