Target Among Fortune’s “Social Media Champs”

The local retailer was named among nine leading companies that connect with customers via social media-primarily due to its diverse offerings for its many Facebook fans.

Target Corporation made the cut for Fortune's “Top Tweeters: Social Media Champs” list, which was published Friday on the magazine's Web site.

Target ranked seventh among the top nine companies based on its social media activities. According to Fortune, there's something for everyone on Target's Facebook fan page-including apps designed for newlyweds, bargain hunters, the technologically savvy, and everything in between. The MyTargetWeekly app, for instance, allows fans to choose preferences, which Target uses to develop a customized shopping list. That list is updated weekly to reflect current deals.

The Minneapolis-based retailer-which has attracted an impressive 4.3 million Facebook cronies-maintains a much smaller presence on Twitter, where it has about 129,000 followers.

Very little is described in way of Fortune's methodology beyond the fact that the nine companies are recognized for having “cool social media strategies to connect with you.”

Google, with more than 3 million Twitter followers, leads the pack. Fortune says that the company's social media strategy mirrors that of its search engine business: “Attract a critical mass of users and engage them by any means possible.”

Whole Foods, which boasts 1.9 million Twitter followers, followed Google. The grocery chain operates more than 300 Twitter accounts and 250 Facebook accounts for its stores. The company also communicates with customers through a blog, e-newsletter, mobile apps, and other online tools.

Dell-ranked third-has roughly 1.6 million Twitter followers and is recognized for having an entire department dedicated to social media. Southwest Airlines came in fourth; it's the first airline to attract more than 1 million Facebook fans, according to Fortune.

Fifth-place Coca Cola has more than 25 million Facebook fans-and its page is notable in that it is actually run by fans. Delta Air Lines took the sixth spot, primarily due to its successful @DeltaAssist Twitter account, which allows customers to contact the airline and access a variety of services.

Rounding out the bottom two spots are American Express-recognized for a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook, as well as a partnership with geo-location app Foursquare-and McDonald's, which has attracted more than 7 million Facebook fans and recently launched a social media campaign, including a video contest, to market the McRib sandwich. (Fortune notes that the campaign sparked “a small backlash among fans and followers” who thought that the McRib didn't actually taste that good.)

Check out Fortune's entire list here.