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General Motors Gets Into Gear With A Social Media Competition

I wrote a post a couple of days ago about Ford vs General Motors and which company was currently winning at social media marketing. Christopher Barger, Director of Social Media at GM responded to mySocial Media Marketing Competition General Motors Chevrolet blog post on a weekend, within a few hours (you have to be impressed by that) … and on a Sunday, with a lengthy comment. In essence he disputed the recency of some of my sources, but didn’t argue with the main thrust of my blog regarding General Motors not  proactively engaging with social media rather than just reacting (read the post and the comment here). He also informed me that the post was timely and that General Motors was about to engage in a Social Media Marketing Competition starting the next day (March 8), which would be crowd sourcing “social media folk’s” contribution online as they compete for the main prize. So GM have not been asleep at the wheel, but merely cruising, but that is all about to change as they hit the loud pedal.

So what is the competition according to GM’s Blog post titled “Chevrolet’s SXSW Road Trip Challenge” ?

“Starting the week of March 8 (the week before SXSW), eight  teams of social media folks from across the United States will embark on a combination  road trip/scavenger hunt competition from their hometowns to Austin behind the wheel of some of Chevy’s newest products. Along the way they’ll need to complete 50 “challenges” in order to determine the winner. The winning team will be the one that not only has completed the most challenges, but has done the most interacting with their community on Twitter and their own sites. But what’s really going to be fun is that you get to help us decide all of the tasks the teams are going to have to complete along the way!

Here’s how it works: starting today and running through February 28th, we’re asking you to submit your ideas to @chevrolet on Twitter, or to facebook.com/Chevrolet, of the challenges you’d like to see the eight teams complete on their trip. We’re selecting 10 tasks  from each of five different categories:  Charity (ex: stop at an animal shelter and walk the dogs), Collection (ex: collect a sample of water from a famous body of water near you), Physical Challenge (ex: climb a rock wall, or stuff your trunk full of balloons), Interaction (ex: meet up w/one of your followers and give them a test drive, or get a group of people to sing a famous song, flash-mob style), and Digital Image (ex: take a photo of a cactus or rock that looks uncannily like one of your team members). We’ll take our favorite 45 ideas that come in to @chevrolet or to the teams involved, and make them required missions for the teams on the road trip. (We’re going to pick one challenge for each category ourselves; hey, it’s our promotion, so we get to pick at least one, right?) On March 8, when the teams are starting to head off to Austin, we’ll reveal the 50 missions – and then you get to follow along and see how they’re doing!”

General Motors Chevrolet Twitter Page Social Media Marketing Competition

To  follow the competition go to Chevrolet’s Facebook page or checkout Chevrolet on  Twitter

I have asked Chris to to provide updated information on the progress of the competition. So if I hear more from him and the Social Media Team at GM I will keep you posted.

What do you think of General Motors Chevy Social Media competition?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Looks to me like the American car companies have smelled Toyota’s blood in the water and are really going for it.

    This is similar to what Ford did with the Fiesta and some bloggers. I like the competition aspect of it. Nothing generates Facebook, Twitter and blogposts as much as a road trip

  • Extremely interesting, Jeff. You seem to have a talent for being on the edge of the latest trends and developments. Well done!

  • Ed Armour

    “See the USA in a Chevrolet” is their daring new concept?? #groupthink #FAIL

  • Hi Jeff – I promise, you’ll hear from me… it’s a little crazy today with the road trip launching, but I will be connecting back with you. (Hopefull with a little less length… sorry, I tend to write waaay too much!) 🙂

  • Team Detroit won!! I know I was personally responsible for hundreds of RTs and comments. Heck I was only behind the team leader in tweets. Christopher Barger is the correct spelling of his name though. He can be found at @Cbarger. I am NOT working for him but I am a huge fan of his marketing department and have partnered up with them for a non profit project.

  • Jeff you always amaze me with the information you put out!! Thanks for always being on top of it!! 🙂

  • Jeff,
    You are on top of the competition between Ford vs Chevy! Reminds me of the old employee pricing campaigns. One leads and they other follows. In this case, social media can be a game changer for these brands and the time is now.

  • Jeff

    Really interesting concept. I am encouraging UK police forces to generate community interaction using SM. Foursquare is an obvious example of how neighbourhood teams could stimulate greater police/public interaction. The greater the level of interaction the greater the ‘reward’ – from awareness to participation to engagement.

    The GM model could be easily adapted to policing. Neighbourhood teams across a policing area could ‘compete’ in community safety related challenges set for them by their facebook/twitter fans/followers. Hopefully leading to better engagement, more followers and better community safety outcomes.

  • Hey Jeff,

    Thank you for keeping us on track with Social media and the companies adopting the technology.

    I’m going to sign up now and submit a few ideas for the Chevy Scavenger hunt.

    Have a great day!!!