The social media sphere is an increasingly noisy place, especially for brands. But hiding somewhere in the static are strong signals from companies reaching 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.

In this week's top 20, National Amusements continues its chokehold on the top spot--but there is some movement down the ranks.  Zynga has been jostling with News Corp...wait, what do we have there?  Facebook rises (cue: stock joke, har har)! It's probably time to remind you that this ranking was pre-IPO, so we'll be interested to see where Zuck and co. place next week. We're also interested in seeing what happens with NBC considering the Olympics (and the company's marketing blitz) are right around the corner. That said let's get to some of this week's biggest movers.

For the past week we've heard about Nick Denton's new plans to monetize a new commenting system over there, and some resulting internal personnel shifts. Pepper in a viral post about Jay-Z coming out in favor of gay marriage, and that's probably how Gawker gained four spots in the rankings this week. "Gawker picked up the controversial story, and the President’s favorite rapper delivered over 400 retweets, 344 shares and almost 1,200 likes--14 times higher than Gawker’s May FB post average," David Mastronardi of the Dachis group told us. (It's important to remember that the statistics Mastronardi is referring to come from Gawker's Facebook page, not the actual post.) "The formula for Gawker’s social success is simple: Know your audience, manage your community, give them the content they want," Mastronardi adds.

Unfortunately we can't give Pitchfork an exact decimal point rating, but the music site did rise 23 spots this week. Here's how they did it: "Pitchfork posts to their Facebook page about 15 times a day and each post pulls in around 100 likes and a few comments and shares," Dachis' Kelly Krieghauser told us. But it was their post on Radiohead's OK Computer and Entire Kid A that hit the social media lottery--attracting over 1,000 likes and 600 comments and shares. "They found this video that they knew their audience would love and in turn, share it. When a recommendation is coming from a peer, the most trusted kind of recommendation," Krieghauser said. And if that isn't a testament to Pitchfork's peer power, remember, they like invented Lana Del Rey.

You guys sunk their Battleship, but you know what, Subway still chugged along and climbed four spots in this week's rankings. Subway, along with Universal were pinning their hopes on Battleship to do well and get people hyped, but considering the film had the worst opening weekend for a flick that cost $200 million to make--that plan was sort of dashed.  You see Subway had touted exclusive screenings of the film, but it was actually a post with a lot less bang that gave the sandwich company momentum. Subway asked its fans to "like this if you wish you could spend your Sunday by the beach…", and according to Dachis' Allison Squires, the post "garnered a whopping 53,478 comments, and over 600 likes." She adds, "Pinning down what content resonates with fans will allow Subway to appeal to fans’ lifestyles and have fun with their social presences while engaging fans on a personal and relatable level." Of course, hitching your social media dreams on Rihanna's acting career comes at your own risk.

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 others. The index, which currently covers approximately 25,0000 companies and 27,000 brands, detects behaviors and activities exhibited by these companies and 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 end of the day on Sundays