Although a relative newcomer to social media, Morrisons has just topped a survey of online consumer reputation.

The retailer overtook Waitrose to be named top supermarket in the Kaizo Advocacy Index, a bi-annual audit of online reputation. The consultancy analysed digital news and social media to rank how household names were performing across different sectors. It also assessed to what degree online recommendations prompted purchasing.

Morrisons climbed from third place thanks largely to consistently positive news about its business performance and its plans to enter e-commerce. Former number one Waitrose saw its approval fall significantly due to problems associated with its relaunched online grocery site. Asda came third, followed by Tesco, while Sainsbury’s fell from second to fifth.

Kaizo said that, as in previous years, the strong anti- Tesco lobby had unduly impacted its online reputation, and that Sainsbury’s had been hurt by the end of its tie-up with Jamie Oliver.

“We know that customers are being increasingly professional about their shopping and that partly involves comparing prices and products with other shoppers on social media,” said a Morrisons spokesman. “We’re doing an increasing amount to converse with customers on Facebook and Twitter.”

Kaizo said social media, in particular Facebook, was increasingly influential in purchasing decisions. The survey found that a comment on these sites about a supermarket would influence 36% of people in terms of their decision whether to buy or not