IAC’s Citysearch announced a new integration with Twitter that enables local businesses to incorporate their existing Twitter presence - or create a new Twitter account - directly from their Citysearch business profile.
The free feature, made available through Twitter’s new Sign-Up API, allows businesses to tweet directly from their Citysearch profile. Consumers, in turn, will be able to view the last three tweets related to businesses with a local listing page, and tweet directly with businesses without leaving Citysearch. The offering will also provide consumers with real-time information on businesses and let local businesses interact with consumers directly on their listing pages.
Small Biz Goes Social
The new integration comes as local businesses are increasingly using social media tools for marketing. An October 2009 study by BIA/Kelsey found that 32% of small and mid-size businesses plan to include social media in their marketing strategies during the next year by using social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Specifically, the report found that 9% of small and mid-size businesses are currently using Twitter to market their brands, MarketingCharts reports.
CitySearch’s addition of Twitter is "an integration, not a partnership," and no money is changing hands in the deal, CitySearch told eWEEK. Citysearch is also enabling local US businesses to claim their Citysearch business page for free to make general business updates and add social media profile information.
Urbanspoon Serves Up Twitter
Fellow IAC property Urbanspoon is also integrating Twitter into its restaurant pages. Once a restaurant’s Twitter username is submitted, the site will showcase the restaurant’s tweets on its page. Urbanspoon has collected more than 4,000 restaurant Twitter usernames nationwide in just a few weeks, the company reported.
YellowPages Uses Twitter and Local Social Search
In yet another example of integration with social media tools, Yellow Pages companies across the US are adding social media tools to their online local businesses search directories. Superpages.com recently launched the @sp411 channel on Twitter, which allows users receive addresses and phone numbers via tweets. Yellowpages.com is also preparing a new local social-search tool.