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.

National Amusements tops the Social Business Index for yet another week, but there's a lot of activity down the ranks. Zynga managed to squeeze by News Corp. to take the No. 3 spot as WWE and Coca Cola edged up to Nos. 7 and 8, respectively. In general, it seems like many of the top media companies are slipping as News Corp. Electronic Arts and NBC all slip in the ranks. We've found interesting stories further back as brands start to latch on to fair weather events and springtime fashion.

Fiat can thank its very sleek sister brand Ferrari for a 14 point rise up the ranks of the Social Business Index this week. It was widely hyped Spanish Grand Prix last Sunday that helped drive the engagement. Ferrari is extremely conscientious about updating fans several times a day about what's happening with the brand, including pictures of new and  old models as well as information about drivers on the racing circuit. "When there is an upcoming event or a possible news story surrounding your brand that fans are going to be interested in, like the Grand Prix, it’s important to have a plan and find the right content that is going to zing your fans," said Kelly Kriegshauser at the Dachis Group. An album of race day photos featuring Team Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso (a.k.a. El Nano) won 13,000 likes and over 1,400 shares, and they followed up with a video with the team and other posts like promotion codes for the Ferrari store. Because if you can't afford a car, you might as well buy a t-shirt.

Gap is an old fashion company up to some new tricks and as such jumped 16 ranks on the index this week to land at No. 96. Part of the boost comes from a recent partnership with Threadless, the Internet t-shirt company. Right now, the two brands are giving fans instructions on do-it-yourself fashion projects with the help of a Facebook photo album and some wall posts. The collective loves from Gap's ability to humanize its brands across various platforms. Old Navy is a leader at this showing not only photos of specific clothing items but also different ways to wear them. "If there’s something Old Navy is doing right on their Facebook social presence, it’s their ability to stay aligned with their brand and its voice," said Kriegshauser. "Their Facebook page is full of fun, quirky taglines and it offers a whole lot of bright colors - just like their clothing."

The French house of luxury saw a nice bump this weekend, moving three ranks up the index to No. 39 thanks mainly to Louis Vuitton and Sephora. The former is a magnet for engagement on Facebook where 7.5 million fans are quick to react everything from the announcements of new store openings to photo collections of the fancy Louis Vuitton lifestyle. Things get really interesting over at Sephora, where a new digital strategy is pushing the brand down innovative avenues. Pinterest is drumming up a lot of chatter. The announcement on Facebook of a new "eye candy" board on Pinterest won nearly 2,000 likes and sent fans to a new water cooler where they could not only check out and talk about featured products. They can buy them too. Making these updates useful, it seems, is a winning formula. "Beyond integration of Pinterest, Sephora is certainly taking visual cues from the social bookmarking success," explained Dachis analyst Lauren Picarello. "Over the past week, Mother’s Day posts like this one and product information like this have leveraged intriguing visuals to keep the attention of fans." 

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.