The Week's Top Twenty in Social Media

General Mills recruited the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Starbucks gave away money and Pizza Hut created more weird concoctions in this week's Social Business Index.

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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 and Walt Disney held on to the top spots on this week's Social Business Index, and the rest of the top 20 held steady. However, there were a couple of big moves in Starbucks and WWE, which moved up three and four ranks respectively. Surprisingly, Facebook dropped four ranks ahead of its much anticipated IPO. As for the top stories, it was all about food this week, with General Mills and YUM! Brands jumping seven spots. We've learned time and time again that people love to engage with pictures of delicious things, and this week was no exception.

General Mills shot up in the rankings with help from their family-friendly Pillsbury and Betty Crocker brands. It's a pretty simple formula, says Dachis analyst Allison Squires. "These two food brands have extremely visual social presences, which are consistently updated to keep fans engaged," Squires explained. "Each photo is mouthwateringly beautiful and offers a quick question, such as 'apple pie for brunch - love it or leave it?' These quick and easy questions consistently receive high engagement from fans." Otherwise, Pillsbury saw solid gains in celebrating National Pigs in a Blanket Day last week. All it took was a picture of two pigs in a blanket to win nearly 1,000 likes and 300 shares. A sale on Pillsbury Doughboy magnets brought in 2,500 likes and a little bit of cash. It just goes to show that simple is almost always better when showcasing brands and products on social media platforms.

Did you know that the Frappuccino Facebook page has 9.3 million fans? It's true, and they're active. Starbucks broke back into the top ten this week thanks to a well executed Frappuccino promotion as well as a community service campaign. For the former, Starbucks invited its customers to post Twitter and Instagram images of their favorite frozen coffee treat during a weeklong Frappuccino Half Price Happy Hour promotion, and those that added the hashtag #frappuccinohappyhour had the chance to win prizes. There was also the chance to create your own Frappuccino mixes online and share them with friends."Starbucks takes deliberate measures to create social components for many investments in their marketing portfolio, a lesson all companies should learn," says David Mastronardi at the Dachis Group. Additionally, Starbucks made their second annual Global Month of Service in April a very social media-friendly event. In addition to Starbucks employees launching local projects, the Vote Give Grow program used online ballots to help give out $4 million in funding to 124 non-profits. Because the ballots were shareable, the program drummed up some good chatter across social media platforms. And all for a good cause!

One of Yum!'s top brands, Pizza Hut, help boost the company seven slots to land at No. 38 in this week's index. The fast food chain has turned a couple of recent product launches into an opportunity to get their customers talking about the brand. In the United Kingdom it was the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza (behold), and in the Middle East it was something called the Crust Burger (behold). Not only are people talking about the new concoctions on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but Pizza Hut is also using the feedback as market research to help decide where to launch the items next. Pizza Hut is also getting cute with their North American launch of Cheesy Bites. Little animated Cheesy Bites are all over the Pizza Hut Facebook page, and fans have been quick to comment on their little adventures. Just goes to show: If all else fails, try cartoons.

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.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.