So is it part of what will push you up the SERPs? The honest answer from any SEO has to be no as we can only look logically at potential contributing factors and make some educated guesses. Since the Vince update in 2009, big brands have hoovered up higher levels of ‘their’ traffic. It makes sense that Google could easily use a popular Twitter account or a Facebook business page as a positive brand indicator. So how much of a factor could it be?
It has been suggested that the recent Google places additions in the future could well have considerations for location base marketing tools such as Foursquare or Facebook. As good social media is good practice marketing and common for big brands I am convinced that it will be of increasing importance.
My advice with social media is to treat it in the same way as the initial Internet revolution. You claimed your company URL, you invested time into creating a platform that reflected your brand and generated as much content as your resource levels allowed you to. Therefore, claim what is yours! Whether you are a multiple location retailer or a business without social media platforms, register some accounts that have your brand terms and/or keyword terms. Create messages on whatever frequency you feel is possible and appropriate. Link them to your main website and generate traffic for free…it is all great practice.