August 7, 2009, 12:00 AM

Bloggers and social networkers have good things to say about Amazon

From May through July, Amazon.com was the most talked-about retailer in the online social realm, says online marketing firm Zeta Interactive. And 90% of those social media posts were positive in tone. Gap and Zappos followed Amazon in volume.

From May through July, Amazon.com Inc. was the most talked-about retailer in the online social realm, according to new research. Amazon was followed by Gap Inc., Zappos.com Inc., Overstock.com Inc. and Bluefly Inc., says online marketing firm Zeta Interactive in data gathered for Internet Retailer.

Zeta Interactive uses proprietary online media mining technology called Zeta Buzz, which canvasses the online media landscape-over 100 million blogs, message boards and social media posts-to determine the buzz about a given subject. The Zeta Buzz algorithm can measure the volume and tone of conversations across the social media landscape, the firm says.

Online consumers wrote more than 60,000 posts on Amazon.com during the last three months; this in part can be attributed to the diversification of Amazon’s offerings and the acquisition of the popular e-commerce site Zappos.com, Zeta Interactive says. Coming in second among retailers was Gap, which registered nearly 47,000 posts.

While Amazon was the volume winner, the measurement of the tone of posts is a different story. In terms of positive buzz, the winner was Zappos, with more than 90% of the social media posts registering as positive. This positive chatter spiked on July 22 when Amazon purchased the company and many in the online posters praised this as a great partnership, Zeta Interactive says.

On the other hand, 34% of social media posts registered as negative for Gap. Many blog posts mentioned “poor delivery times” and “lack of customer service support” as their reasons for dissatisfaction, the marketing firm reports.

The Zeta Buzz algorithm measures the tone of social media posts through keywords and combinations of keywords and how those words are used in context.

Amazon.com is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Gap is No. 25, Zappos.com No. 27, Overstock.com No. 29 and Bluefly No. 132.

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