Kum & Go All A-Twitter

Retailer using social networking for prize promotion; Moblu gets mileage

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Kum & Go LC is getting further into the social media arena with its "Ticket Tuesday" promotion using Twitter. Other chains, such as Sheetz, are also exploring the uses of "tweeting." And along with convenience applications, gasoline-related applications for social networks are expanding beyond just price alerts as well, as seen, for example, with the launch of Moblu, which focuses on fuel efficiency.

On Tuesday, June 9, 16, 23 and 30, one Des Moines-area Kum & Go location is selected as the "secret store" for Twitter Tuesday. From 8:00 a.[image-nocss] m. to 12:00 p.m., one clue per hour will be given out via Twitter to direct users to the secret store. On June 9, 16 and 23, the first eight people who find a 1959 Ford at the secret store and provide the person in the car with the secret password will each win free two-day passes to the local 80/35 music festival, July 3-4. On June 30, the first four people who find the 1959 Ford at the secret store and provide the secret password will win free VIP passes to 80/35.

And the West Des Moines, Iowa-based chain, like a growing number of retailers, also maintains a Facebook presence (click here).

Meanwhile, as reported in CSP Daily News last week, Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. began using Twitter recently to let customers know where to find its Sheetz Bros. Coffee truck, which offers food and coffee at events and other venues. (Click here for coverage.)

AndMoblu has launched a new free social networking site focused on fuel economy, reported The New York Times. Members enter the details of each gasoline fillup (date, odometer reading, quantity of gas and price per gallon), and Moblu calculates the mileage, plotting the results at each fillup on a chart to show the motorist's progress (or lack of it) in reducing furl consumption.

As with Twitter, members can use their cell phones to send the data from the gas station and follow other motorists to compare results, said the report. A search feature can help narrow vehicles down by model, make and model year. There is also a timeline showing maintenance efforts that may help improve mileage, such as checking tire pressure or getting a tune-up.

The data is displayed in a variety of useful ways, showing the percentage change in fuel economy since the last fillup and totaling the amount spent on fuel in a given period. A tool, piggybacking on Google Maps, lets users calculate likely fuel use, cost and climate impact (in pounds of carbon dioxide) on a proposed trip.