BEIJING: Samsung, Sony and Nokia are among the technology brands that are currently generating the most online word of mouth in China, a study has indicated.

Edelman, the PR network, and Brandtology, the business intelligence firm, assessed 518,028 conversations across 736 websites, covering a total of 89 major players in the sector.

Goods made by one of these companies were mentioned every 15 seconds, a figure that compared with 42 seconds in a similar study conducted in the previous quarter.

A key driver of this trend was said to be the wide variety of internet marketing campaigns that accompanied the World Cup in South Africa.

Samsung, which makes devices such as wireless phones and TV sets, led the rankings having been namechecked 21,374 times, an uptick of 332% and helping it climb from seventh position in Q2.

The firm allied with popular portals Sina, Sohu and to run social ads and hold competitions linked to the World Cup, boosting its status as a result.

Sony, an official sponsor of the global football tournament, saw its score surge by 261% to 18,505, followed by Nokia, the Finnish handset giant, in third on 16,760 thanks to an improvement of 167%.

AMD, another IT firm, took fourth on 15,234, trailed by Cannon, the photography specialist, in fifth on 15,096, both new entrants in the list since the last quarter.

Google, which has scaled back its presence in China, fell from first to sixth despite recording a 39% expansion in online chatter, coming in ahead of US rival Microsoft in seventh on 13,254, up 146%.

Completing the top ten were PC manufacturer Asus on 132,369, mobile network provider China Telecom on 11,793 and chip maker Intel on 11,655.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, the three main mobile operators in China, all partnered with web publishers to promote the roll out of products and services during the World Cup.

These included tools that allowed customers to watch games on the move, in a bid to tap in to enthusiasm for the World Cup.

Leading social networks like Kaixin001 and Renren were also employed by many advertisers with this purpose in mind, hosting a range of contests and other events.

According to the Edelman/Brandtology report, this showed the heightened importance companies are placing on digital channels, particularly as a means of stimulating word of mouth.

Sina Weibo, a platform which is broadly equivalent to Twitter, has proved an especially useful medium for marketers, and 56% of the featured brands boasted a formal profile on this site.

The possibilities it affords are demonstrated by the fact that the number of posts mentioning Nokia on Sina Weibo doubled the amount of items of feedback it registered elsewhere.

BlackBerry, the smartphone made by Research in Motion, has also signed up over 7,000 fans on Sina Weibo after establishing a corporate account in the middle of June this year.

“While Twitter dominates in other regional markets in Asia Pacific, Sina Weibo is building a social media phenomenon in China which is reshaping the way technology brands contact and engage consumers,” Vincent Lee, manager of digital strategy at Edelman China, said.

Data sourced from Edelman; additional content by Warc staff