SOUTHAMPTON: Amazon UK and fashion brands Topshop and ASOS are the three most popular retailers on British social media sites, according to new analysis of over 100 top retailers who use social platforms.

Amazon, in particular, stands out for attracting 700,000 new followers to its UK Twitter account in the past six months alone, although Topshop leads three out of the four social platforms examined by eDigitalResearch, the digital insights firm.

Its latest Retail Social Media Benchmark report, now in its thirteenth iteration, shows Amazon is now second for Twitter followers (965,000), just behind Topshop (1.06m), having jumped seven places since the last study.

It did so, the report said, on the back of its #AmazonBasket account, which allows users to add items automatically by tweeting the hashtag, and an "impressive" performance during the Black Friday retail event and over Christmas.

Amazon also tops the Facebook charts with nearly 5.4m followers, a respectable distance ahead of Topshop (4.1m) and ASOS (3.59m), but discount retailer Primark comes in fourth (3.57m) having made substantial gains.

Primark "surged" up the Facebook league table and does well on social media despite lacking a transactional web presence, the report said.

More broadly, the report found that almost all top retail brands post a message on Facebook at least once a day and they are also updating their Facebook pages more over weekends than in the past.

Furthermore, the top five performers on Facebook all added a significant number of new followers over the past six months, suggesting that attracting new "likes" is easier for brands that already have a large follower base.

Turning to Instagram, the photo-sharing platform that is included in the study for the first time, eDigitalResearch places Topshop on top with 3.7m followers, ahead of ASOS (2.6m) and Urban Outfitters (2.4m), the US fashion brand.

Instagram, with its growing global user base, is the second most popular site for retail brands to engage with online social audiences, the report added.

Google+, the fourth and final social platform under examination, has ASOS as its lead UK retailer with 2.26m followers, just ahead of Topshop (2.25m) with AllSaints, the retailer based in fashionable Spitalfields in East London, rounding out the top three with 1.32m followers.

Data sourced from eDigitalResearch; additional content by Warc staff