Over at Branded 3 the data team have been hard at work looking at all the information out their regarding whether tweets actually affect your rankings in Google and I think they have found the answer. Using the Branded 3 property twitition they have used mass amounts of tweets directed from the service to see if they can get the url they are directed at to rank higher and here is what they found out in their tweets vs ranks study.
The study shows that rankings are significantly effected by a large amount of tweets, this is the first study of its kind since no other company has the ability to source that many tweets in this way. Alan from the Branded 3 data insights team is quoted as saying
Sorting this much data and ranking checking for such is a MASSIVE undertaking….we welcome anyone else to delve into the data which you can download from the Branded3 site
As you can see from the image below from the study the more tweets dramatically affect the rankings of the url and the more tweets the higher the ranking. Take a look its an interesting study, which just goes to show that social media is being much more of a part of a good well round SEO strategy. This will especially apply for the more competitive terms to give you that edge you need, so be social people!