December 27, 2011, 9:30 AM

Amazon had the most social media influence this holiday season

Victoria’s Secret was No. 2 in social media effectiveness, says Klout.

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Retailers have been using social media to promote holiday deals and it is paying off for some. Inc., for example, beat store-based retailers and took the No. 1 spot for the most influential merchant on social networks this holiday season, according to new research from social media analysis company Klout. Victoria’s Secret is No. 2 and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is No. 3.

Klout measures retailers’ social media effectiveness by looking at three factors: True Reach, or the number of consumers in a retailer’s social network, including Facebook fans and Twitter followers; Amplification, or how deeply those retailers influence consumers via social networks, which takes into account retweets and comments to Facebook posts; and also Network, which measures how influential the consumers are in retailers’ social network. Klout uses data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social networks to give retailers, organizations and individuals overall ratings, which are called Klout Scores and range from zero to 100.

With a Klout Score of 82, Amazon tops the list this holiday season, Klout says, and the retailer secured 1,200 retweets on Twitter and 85,000 mentions from consumers on other social networks in the 90 days leading up to Dec. 20.

Here is the complete list of the top 10 retailers, with the total Klout Score for each, as well as number of retweets and mentions:

• 82 Klout, 1,200 retweets and 85,000 mentions

• Victoria’s Secret: 75 Klout, 3,500 retweets and 47,000 mentions

• J.C. Penney: 75 Klout, 3,200 retweets and 6,500 mentions

• The Sports Authority Inc.: 74 Klout, 2,400 retweets and 1,400 mentions

•Walgreen Co.: 73 Klout, 3,300 retweets and 15,000 mentions

• HSN Inc.: 72 Klout, 4,600 retweets and 6,500 mentions

• ThinkGeek Inc.: 72 Klout, 140,000 retweets and 40,000 mentions

• Best Buy Co. Inc.: 72 Klout, 16,000 retweets and 28,000 mentions

• Target Corp.: 72 Klout, 21,000 retweets and 47,000 mentions

• Macy’s Inc.: 71 Klout, 4,500 retweets and 20,000 mentions

While nearly all retailers use social media to highlight products and announce discounts, most differ on how they approach customer service on Facebook and Twitter, says Klout marketing associate Lan Nguyen. “Some retailers like Macy’s respond to nearly all of their users individually. Other retailers answer support questions sparingly or separate customer service completely from their main social media channels,” Nguyen writes in a blog post. “For example, Best Buy created an entirely new Twitter account called Twelpforce to answer tech-related questions.”

Amazon is No. 1 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Victoria’s Secret is No. 18, J.C. Penney is No. 20, Sport’s Authority is No. 223, Walgreens is No. 73, HSN is No. 26, ThinkGeek is No. 192, Best Buy is No. 11, Target is No. 22 and Macy’s is No. 17.

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