Having huge number of followers on twitter or facebook will not guarantee a secure search engine ranking position right now. But as tweets made their entry into search engine results page and Bing showing up bio of LinkedIn and Twitter in search results we can expect improvement in Google with respect to social signals.
Social Media traffic is similar to word of mouth publicity and it can be used as a medium for generating website traffic. As majority of people are there on social media platforms like facebook and twitter it is easy to have brand marketing through them. Incorporating of Google +1 Mentions and hashtags enable web pages to be found out for people having them in circles.
Social Media alone will not improve search engine rankings but having high amount of traffic to a website can be seen as a signal for more popular link and such links will be displayed in search results page. Sharing content across social media platforms also helps in increasing more visibility to the content. Consistent publishing of content across social media platforms also increases the followers and growth of the profile.