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 reach their customers in innovative ways. The Social Business Index from Dachis Group provides a (free) real-time ranking of more than 30,000 global brands based on their social performance. Every week we're taking a tally of who's getting heard, what they're saying and why it matters.

Now that Super Bowl madness is long gone, the top ten (and now familiar) brands on the Social Business Index are holding fast. While Nos. 11 through 20 look a little more interesting -- check out Apple's first appearance win the top 20 -- the most interesting moves continue to happen further back on the Index. We're impressed with A&E's meteoric rise up the ranks thanks to some fun social gaming applications. Chrysler and Mattel are also staying innovative in their approaches to tapping into their broad fan bases around the launches of new products and ad campaigns. All things considered, it looks like a new batch of hungry brands will be marching out of the snow as winter draws to a close. And we're just gonna go ahead and guess that Linsanity will spread to social media in the not-too-distant future.

We're generally impressed by any double-digit jumps in the ranks of the Social Business Index. But A&E's skyrocketing nearly 50 ranks to break in to the top 100 and landing at No. 71 is a feat. The momentum of the A&E-owned History Channel provided the surge in social media relevancy. Your granddad's favorite network didn't just join Twitter or anything like that. It's been experimenting with social games. "Amongst our favorite of their efforts is the network’s launching a new Facebook game for their competitive shooting show Top Shot; the game preview was released on the same day of the series’ season premiere," says Joe Pinaire, an analyst at the Dachis Group, adding that the first person game allows viewers to help select who will appear on the show next. He continued, "This isn’t the first Facebook game for the channel (see: Pawn Stars: The Game) and A&E’s SVP of Games has said it won’t be the last; if fans continue enjoying these gaming experiences, we’re forecasting A&E will continue to enjoy high ranks in the Index. " And just think. They did all this without stooping to the levels of shows like Jersey Shore or 16 and Pregnant.

Sometimes, simplicity works wonders. This is the best way to describe how Chrysler -- or, more specifically, Dodge -- boosted itself nine spots to land at No. 85 this week. The biggest level of engagement from Dodge's many networks came from the brand simply telling fans, "Like this post if you're a fan of going FAST!" Guess what? A ton of Dodge fans like going fast. In fact, over 14,000 of them like going fast, and over 1,000 of them wanted their friends to know about it, so they shared the post. While they were hanging out on the page, Dodge owners also uploaded tons of pictures of their vehicles. Dachis analyst Allison Squires thinks that the brand's Super Bowl commercial might've piqued some interest. "Driving additional traffic to the wall was a post sharing Dodge's 'It's Halftime in America' Superbowl video with Clint Eastwood, which [has over 10.5 million views and] earned eighth place overall in Dachis Group’s 'Super Social' ad ranking, scoring among the top in Brand Love scores," Squires explains. "This commercial was successful in generating emotion from viewers by creating a mission around the brand that people could rally behind." And we're betting that evoking an emotional reaction is no easy task for all you Ram owners out there. That's a stoic truck if we ever saw one!

Remember UNO? Well that multicolored packet of fun helped boost Mattel four slots to No. 31 on the Social Business Index this week. By announcing on Facebook the release of the UNO Dice Game, a new version of the family-friendly game, Mattel managed to set a record number of Likes (nearly 3,500) and shares (472 at the time of this posting) on the social network. For some reason, the new game comes in a soda can-looking thing that's got people excited. "UNO's engagement rate (defined as the number of 'People Talking About This' divided by number of page likes) is 4%, an admirable number for any brand, especially since UNO's page boasts over 9 million fans," Dachis analyst Ellen Reynolds tell us. "It’s worth noting that although the post received more than 300 comments, a quick scan shows a lack of community management - -a large majority are either spam or off-topic." Because why would you talk off-topic about UNO? You gotta focus! Also, Barbie made some appearances at Fashion Week in New York and London, driving conversation to those respective Facebook pages. (One could argue that the fanaticism surrounding Fashion Week provided a bigger push than UNO, but the data is less extraordinary from the analysts' point of view.) Fun fact: More than 75 couture designers have featured Barbie outfits at various Fashion Week events over the years. Now you know.

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.