Social media has become a way of life for today’s youth. That’s why Chevrolet has put together a group of Internet marketing experts who will tour the nation teaching students as young as elementary school about social media in anticipation of this month’s SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas.
“The purpose of the tour is to raise money and awareness for Adopt-A-Classroom,” said SEO.com Social Media Manager Darin “Doc” Berntson, a member of the team from Salt Lake City.
Adopt-A-Classroom is a non-profit organization that raises money for teachers to purchase resources for their classrooms.
“South by Southwest (SXSW) serves as a perfect venue for Chevy to listen, engage and build relationships with next generation customers. We launched the road trip idea two years ago and added the charity component last year,” said Rebecca Harris, a Chevrolet representative. “The activity has been a huge success. In the past, the road trip teams have had great interactions with the schools, the kids have had excellent experiences and the teachers have provided positive feedback on the content and funding assistance. ”
Teams from around the country will begin their trips March 5 and will travel for about a week.
The Salt Lake City team plans to visit schools in Utah, New Mexico and Texas. The final destination is SXSW Interactive, a festival focused on technology. The conference includes presentations from industry leaders and networking events.
“I have always wanted to go to South by Southwest. The event has always looked amazing,” said Berntson. “The road trip aspect is just an added bonus. Being able to partner with Chevy and bring awareness to the charity as well as raise funds for them is icing on the cake.”
According to Harris, “social media is changing the way the world is communicating.”
“Schools are beginning to integrate social media into the classroom experience. Businesses are using social media every day. As these kids enter the workforce, they will be expected to know how to utilize these tools,” she said.
High schools and universities have even started offering courses in social media marketing.
“Kids need to be aware of what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable when it comes to using social media, and how these platforms fit into their lives,” Harris said.
She said that while elementary school students are not old enough to register for social media websites, Chevy wanted to teach the children about social media because they use the Internet.
“We are happy to be a part of the Chevy road trip to South by Southwest,” said Ash Buckles, president of SEO.com, an SEO services company. “Doc has a lot of experience in the social media field, and he is perfect to teach the next generation of marketers about social media.”
Chevy will have a map on its website with OnStar showing where the teams are at any given moment.