Citysearch today became the first SMB site to integrate Twitter functionality into its claimed SMB profiles. The move complements earlier efforts to integrate the SMB profiles with Facebook and consumer social media options.
Citysearch SVP of publishing Kara Nortman tells us the deal has been developed directly with Twitter for about two months. The impact of adding Twitter has two aspects to it. First, it obviously helps businesses use Twitter. Second, it allows businesses to include social media directly into their listings data, using Citysearch as their “hub.” Essentially, it has added social media as a Yellow Pages-like “copy point” (i.e., hours of opening, credit cards accepted).
Nortman also notes that the company’s initial research suggests that 16 percent to 20 percent of SMBs that sign up for a Citysearch profile — an advanced group, by definition — already have Twitter and/or Facebook accounts. She adds that she expects to see regional differences, as certain markets are more Twitter-oriented and social-oriented than others. There will also be an overall boost for Citysearch’s mobile efforts, since Twitter is driven, in part, by mobile users.
Nortman and Twitter’s Anamitra Banerji are both featured on Day 1 of ILM:09 this week in L.A. on our Social/Local Panel, along with Tim Kendall from Facebook and Greg Isaacs from AT&T Interactive.