This week we’re highlighting new movements into social with our weekly showcase of The Dachis Group’s Social Business Index.

Our focus is on three well-known brands – a Spanish fashion brand, everyone’s favorite German car company and a popular nationwide department store.

We also take a glimpse at the top twenty brands on the Social Business Index, a real-time ranking of more than 30,000 global brands based on their performance in the social space, to see how the biggest brands in social are faring. A new addition back into the charts is Facebook as it jumped 8 points to number 20.

Gartler S.L. 

Ahmed Khamash, Digital Strategist, Dachis Group:

Gartler S.L.’s rise in the rankings this week can be attributed to Zara, its flagship chain store. With close to 1,700 shops worldwide, the Spanish fast fashion brand employs an unusual policy of zero advertising, preferring instead to direct revenues towards the opening of new stores. This puts a heavier burden on word of mouth marketing and advocacy to carry the brand’s message and announce new lines and styles. 

Having traditionally relied on their website and stores to initiate this conversation, their social communities now play an integral part in how the company pushes their new styles to consumers. In the last few weeks, Zara has been teasing their latest lookbooks for men, women, and children with exclusive sneak peek images on Facebook and Twitter. The actual lookbooks were also released through Facebook and Twitter, and were Liked and shared by thousands of community members. 

This engagement drove hundreds of thousands of additional earned impressions of their styles, and were the main reason for the company’s rise in the SBI rankings. Lacking a traditional advertising budget, Zara successfully leans on the social mechanics of Facebook and Twitter for scalable and measurable advocacy, as well as word of mouth marketing.

Volkswagen AG

Kelly Kriegshauser, Copywriter, Dachis Group:

Volkswagen is moving up in the social ranks this week due to Audi’s smart moves on Facebook. Audi grabbed attention with series of tactics related to the upcoming 90th Pikes Peak International Hill climb. 

The brand has a long history of off-road racing so their use of a photo of the Audi Sport car, a video clip of Audi’s first Pikes Peak race, and the announcement that they “have a surprise in store” went right to the heart of Audi fandom. Dedicated fans got excited by the hint of a surprise and will keep checking back with the page for updates. A win-win for all. 

Another post that picked up a huge amount of engagement was a post in which Audi provided their fans a picture of their flagship vehicle, the Audi R8, and a short, simple caption, “Just four steps from heaven…#WantAnR8″. This is a continuation of their #WantAnR8 effort that spans multiple social networks. And with close to 6,000 shares and 51,000 likes the #WantAnR8 meme appears to have taken hold.

Sears Holdings Corporation

Allison Squires, Strategy Associate, Dachis Group:

Sears Holding Corporation rose sixteen points in the Social Business Index last week thanks to a mix of a team-up and a puppy.

First, in order to stop bullying in schools, parents, educators and Sears are teaming up to raise education and support against bullies. Facebook posts around this team-up are garnering much needed support and last week two posts raised support through thousands of likes, comments and shares. 

The second reason for Sears’ rise in the index was a Sunday puppy post. An image of a pooped-out boxer puppy and asked fans to “‘like’ if you’re having a lazy Sunday!’ The combination of a cute puppy with a simple call-to-action garnered almost 16k likes, 200 comments and almost one thousand shares – enough to help boost the brand’s social rankings. 

Editors note: The Social Business Index, a free ranking compiled by The Dachis Group, is based on the analysis of conversations on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social platforms. The index is based on the execution and effectiveness of businesses at driving outcomes such as brand awareness, content sharing, and advocacy.