The social media sphere is an increasingly noisy place, especially for brands. But hiding somewhere in the static, some companies are sending strong signals that reaches their customers in innovative ways. The Dachis Group has recently begun a real-time ranking of which companies have the most effective social strategies with their Social Business Index. Each Friday we're taking a tally of who's getting heard, what they're saying and why it matters.

Facebook continues to fend off Google for the top spot, but this week sees an impressive surge from Coca-Cola which has risen to number three. Other companies like Starbucks, Twitter and Dr. Pepper that have been steadily gaining steam continue to perform, but Thomson Reuters saw the biggest boost, with an 18-rank jump. But it's bad news across the board for fashion companies. The Dachis Group tells us it's "no surprise" with the buzz from fall fashion weeks dwindling, but their retreat is only making room for more new companies in the top twenty, like BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion.

Breaking into the top three for the first time, Coke is killing it in social media. A month ago, we flagged an interesting viral campaign they launched on several platforms that sent fans on a goose chase to try and figure out the secret formula, and they've continued to push the boundaries. With nearly 35 million Facebook fans and nearly 400,000 Twitter followers, their massive following provides a huge advantage, but the company continues to tweak its strategy to keep the conversation active. "Coca-Cola does a great job of making their fans a top priority, and exhibits strong branding that extends across all their social properties, making it easy for fans to participate with the brand on whichever platform they choose," Dachis Group analyst Allison Squires told us. "Recently, there has been a significant uptick in smaller, regional engagement oriented campaigns." And of course, polar bear season is just around the corner.

Kraft cracks into the top ten this week with an aggressive Halloween campaign. A new app on their Facebook page manages to include at least half a dozen Kraft brands, from Nabisco to Jell-O, with Halloween-themed recipes, games and even pumpkin-carving stencils. (The jack-o-lantern designs aren't that impressive, but this snake-bite calzone looks awesome.) Meanwhile, an expertly timed philanthropic campaign is giving the people who want to talk about something more meaningful. Squires explains, "Kraft recently made a five-year deal with the US Agency for International Development to help cocoa farmers in the Dominican Republic, garnering them a modest boost in brand love and soon deep, niche engagement."

After not making an appearance in the top twenty last week, Thomson Reuters rocketed up 18 slots, just missing the top ten. A couple of weeks ago, we noted that Reuters was surging ahead with Twitter, who climbed one notch this week, for their many constant updates, and now the Dachis Group explains how this makes for good social media juice. "Thomson Reuters continues a more stately march upward off the strength of Reuters news stories getting shared and discussed," says Squires. Not all of the conversation has been positive in the past week; a brief scandal flared up after Reuters questionably reported that George Soros was funding the Occupy Wall Street protests and then fumbled several updates before reporting that he wasn't a supporter after all.

Making their first appearance in the top twenty is rare good news for Research in Motion, the company that makes BlackBerry devices. But RIM had a good week. With the launch of a major software upgrade, they're enjoying more attention than usual on social media platforms, but the Dachis Group says the glory will be short-lived. RIM just unveiled a new operating system for Blackberry, BlackBerry BBX, that promises to make it easier for developers to create apps," says John De Oliveira. "That has created a good deal of short-term buzz, but it will likely die down before too long."

Methodology: A project of the Dachis Group, a social business professional services group, the Social Business Index analyzes the conversations on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and othrs. The index, which currently covers approximately 25,0000 companies and 27,000 brands, detects behaviors and activities exhibited by these companies, analyzes their execution and effectiveness at driving outcomes such as brand awareness, brand love, mind share, and advocacy. The Atlantic Wire takes a snapshot of the rankings at the close of business on Thursdays.