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Twitter today made two big hires (via TechCrunch) in an effort to “ramp up the advertising platform.” Dan Coughlin joins as Eastern U.S. sales director, while Amanda Levy will be his Western U.S. counterpart. Coughlin spent the past few years at Facebook, and before that, Marketwatch and Doubleclick.

But more interesting to us is Levy and her five-year tenure at Yelp. She was the first salesperson (as employee No. 10) and by the time she left was managing 100 salespeople. This is experience that will come in handy if Twitter is to go after the SMB segment in the many ways we’ve speculated it could.

SMBs could also play a part in the roadmap for Twitter’s daily deal feature, Earlybird. At TechCruch’s Social Currency CrunchUp a couple of weeks ago, I watched Earlybird head Shiva Rajamaran talk about how the deals are currently all national advertisers but they’re very much interested in going more local.

For some time, Twitter has been viewed as having a longer term opportunity with local SMB advertising and marketing. That can mean everything from merchants tweeting about their business to participation in Promoted Tweets, Trending Topics, Earlybird Deals or any future ad products that are developed with their needs in mind.

In the meantime, Twitter now has a West Coast sales director with perspective about how SMBs think and operate. Levy will report directly to COO Dick Costolo and work primarily on building out the “Twitter Promoted Products” division.

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