A few weeks ago, 2,065 business-to-business companies across the country kicked off an eleven week social media competition to win $10,000 for the charity of their choice. Social Madness, hosted by the American City Business Journal, is a contest that pits one company's social media engagement against those with comparable social followings over nine bracket style elimination rounds.
This week marks the third elimination round and as the sole Delaware participant, eZanga.com, a local online advertising company, is feeling the pressure to win for their local community and state. The charity that eZanga chose to go to battle for is the M.O.T. Big Ball Marathon. Established fifteen years ago, The M.O.T. Big Ball Marathon's main objective is to support the community by raising funds to assist families and individuals in need in the Middletown, Odessa and Townsend area. Not your typical fundraiser, the Big Ball Marathon is a community sponsored softball tournament that takes place over twenty four hours during Labor Day Weekend. In recent years, the event has experienced a steady growth rate, collectively raising over a half million dollars, providing support for local schools, shelters, non-profit organizations and a safety net fund to assist their efforts.
In a contest that relies on social media engagement and reach, one may strategize that in order win big, choosing a nationally supported non-profit would be the way to go.
Rich Kahn, CEO and co-founder of eZanga, views the competition in a different light.
"For ten years, the families of eZanga have lived, worked and played in the M.O.T. area. We have witnessed the positive impact that Big Ball has had on our community firsthand," said Kahn. "We realize that a small town in a small state might have a hard time in a national competition, but we've made it this far, and we are optimistic that we can still make a big difference."
When Kate Rokosz, the coordinator of the Big Ball Marathon received the news, she said that tears came to her eyes.
"The Big Ball Marathon committee is deeply grateful to eZanga for this opportunity to spread awareness about our efforts in helping our local neighbors in need," said Rokosz. "The beauty of The Big Ball Marathon is that it betters the community $1 at a time and eZanga is giving us the opportunity to have 10,000 ways to do more. The M.O.T community is so fortunate to have a company that continually cares. "
As a small town in a small state, the odds are not totally against the eZanga and M.O.T. Big Ball team. The Social Madness guidelines classifies companies into three categories, small, medium and large depending on the size of their social media following. In most scenarios, eZanga would be considered a small company, but when sorted according to the size of their social community, eZanga qualified for the 'medium' bracket.
Page 2 of 2 - "As a digital marketing company, we do the majority of business and networking online. We hope that having a substantial social presence will help us in an online contest where almost anyone can participate," said Kahn.
Social Madness allows anyone from any location to support a noble cause no matter their financial status. A person can help a Social Madness contender by voting daily and interacting with a qualifying company on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. The Social Madness competition kicked off on June 3rd, 2013, and the winners will be announced on August 20th, 2013.
For those interested in helping eZanga.com and the M.O.T. Big Ball Marathon make it to the national level, they can vote daily for eZanga under the 'medium' category on the Social Madness section of the Philadelphia Business Journal's website. Additionally, points can be earned by interacting with the eZanga LinkedIn and Facebook pages and by engaging with the @eZangaInc twitter handle.