If U Cn Rd Ths Msg

Mentions of coffee seem to turn up regularly on the social media sites I use. I’m as guilty as the people whose Twitter feeds I read. I “follow” at least four purveyors of coffee, hoping to hear about freebies and discounts on the caffeinated elixir. I have written blog posts about my experiences with them too.

Although my blog entry focused on their panini, the topic that sparked the conversation that led to my trip to The Tin Roof Café was their gourmet coffee from the Vienna Coffee Company. Somehow that morphed into the discussion about their Twitter feed that got me a free sandwich.

Last month, Javerde Coffee Company hosted a Java TweetUp. They use Twitter and Facebook extensively. I like the way they engage in conversation with local Twitterers but I don’t love their recurring digs at “charbucks.” I will go for coffee wherever my coupons take me.

I’m still waiting for Weigel’s to catch up to the other retailers that are both bigger and smaller than it. They’ve started using Twitter but I haven’t seen anything about a free cup of their delicious Kona coffee. It’s all advertising slug lines so far.

The local big dog in the coffee wars seems to so far be winning the social media battle. Pilot Travel Centers is a national chain based here in Knoxville. They blasted onto the Facebook and Twitter scene by offering a new assortment of free and discount coupons each month. They also initiate conversations on both platforms, one of which led to me giving away oatmeal made with coffee instead of hot water this coming Monday.

Here’s the conversation that started Thursday:

pilottravel: calling all oatmeal lovers! we want ur feeback. what flavors would u like 2 c @ Pilot? do u get coffee w ur oatmeal? tell us what u like!

FrankMurphyCom: Someday I want to try making oatmeal with coffee instead of hot water.

pilottravel: @FrankMurphyCom making oatmeal with coffee…..hmmm….i like it!

FrankMurphyCom: Surely someone must have tried this. I wonder if it’s good

FrankMurphyCom: I need to allot a starch and try this soon! RT @KnoxvilleRob for that warm, twitchy morning feeling. #coffeeoatmeal

FrankMurphyCom: It now rates hashtag #coffeeoatmeal RT @AllThingsSassy Oatmeal with coffee isn’t bad, but it was an accidental taste-test…

pilottravel: ok, looks like we need to do a taste test with #coffeeoatmeal. Which coffee do u think would go best?

FrankMurphyCom: Where & when do I show up?

Pilot’s Lynsay Caylor sent me a Direct Message to see if I was serious. We started DM-ing back and forth and by Friday afternoon we had worked out the details as revealed on my Twitter feed:

FrankMurphyCom: I’m hosting #coffeeoatmeal taste-test tweetup Mon 5/24 1pm @pilottravel next to Wendy’s on Lovell Rd You get free oatmeal to mix with coffee

Hope to see you on Monday afternoon at #270, as the insiders call it.

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