Sandbar #IceBucketChallenge

Sandbar #IceBucketChallenge

The ALS ice bucket challenge has taken social media by storm, and if you haven’t seen videos of kids, adults and even dogs being drenched with buckets of ice water (and, in some cases, just ice), then you’ve been living under a rock. Or you don’t have a Facebook account. (Looking at you, Mr. Regular Customer who will remain nameless.)

Anyway, the phenomenon basically consists of someone dumping a bucket of ice water over their head and then nominating one or fifteen of their friends to do the same, with the whole event captured on video and then shared on social networks.

The nominees have 24 hours to take the challenge or else they’re expected to make a donation to the ALS Association. But, we also know that many of those taking the challenge are also donating—so they’re definitely putting their money where their mouth is.

In fact, as of today, the ALS Association reports they’ve received $22.9 million in donations during the time period July 29-August 19, compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year. What’s more, the donations have been made by existing donors and more than 453,000 new donors.That’s amazing, people.

It’s no surprise that some of our Sandbar staff and friends were called to the challenge. Check out our video below, featuring managing partner Dave; longtime regular customers Curtis and Brandon; and current bartender and longtime Sandbar art director Justin.


Andrew, consider yourself lucky that you’re on your honeymoon.

Even if you’re tired of seeing the ice bucket challenge videos dominating your newsfeed, you can’t deny that it’s truly accomplished a goal of raising awareness of ALS—and raising some serious cash.

Thanks to Michelle for filming the event!

Enter our Facebook photo contest!

We’ve never run a contest on Facebook before– Facebook’s terms of service make it just too darn difficult.

(All those contests you see asking you to “like” or “share” a status or a photo in order to enter to win something? Yep, those are against Facebook’s TOS. Most people either don’t know or don’t care, but Facebook can shut down your page without warning if you violate their rules. I don’t want to take that risk.)

In order to run a legitimate contest on Facebook, you pretty much have to use a third-party application. Which either means you need to have mad development skills to create your own (I don’t) or spend money to use an app that someone else has already created.

So, that’s what we’re doing.

Announcing the Best Sandbar Pictures of All Time contest.

You can enter on Facebook (click here to enter or vote), or you can also enter a photo on Twitter or Instagram by using hashtag #sbparty13. The app claims that entries with the hashtag will automatically be entered, but if for some reason it doesn’t work, we’re not responsible.

You can enter pictures and vote until August 5.

Encourage your friends and family to vote for your picture; the entry with the most votes will win a pair of VIP passes to the beer garden at our August 10 block party!

You must be 21 to enter the contest and redeem the prize; we’ll ask for two forms of ID to verify.

So start digging out your best Sandbar pictures and enter our contest!

Small Businesses: Need Help with Social Media?

Today, a slight deviation from the normal posts about stupid things people do in the bar, downtown events and other random stories that may or may not directly relate to the Sandbar.

The nice people at Philsquare, a local web development company, asked me to help teach a class about social media. It's a basic class, geared to small businesses and organizations here in Lawrence who want to learn more about how social media can benefit them.

Social media is not a magic solution, and it takes work. But I absolutely believe that it can do good things for a business. I'm excited to share some of the things I've learned while building up the Sandbar's presence in various online networks, like Twitter, Facebook and this blog. And trust me, I've learned a lot!

I'm teaching the class with Bailey DeReus, communications director for Philsquare and avid social media user. Here's the class description:

Interested in learning to use various social media platforms? Do you want to understand why using Twitter and Facebook can be successful to engaging customers and increasing business? In this workshop you will learn what services and work for your business and the strategy to making them successful. We will also discuss how businesses using social media locally have an impact on local consumers.

We'd love to see you there! It's only $25 for two hours of information, with plenty of time for questions.

The class is on Wednesday, June 22, at 7 p.m. It will be held in the computer lab at Van Go. If you're interested, please go here to register online.

If you know of a business or organization who might be interested, please pass this on!

1000 Check-ins on Foursquare

We hit a social media milestone (in our eyes, anyway) last night: the one-thousandth check-in on the location-based social networking service Foursquare.

Foursquare, for the non-geeks among you, is an application that lets you "check in" at places you go- bars, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations- and share it with your friends. You can earn virtual badges for your check-ins, like the Swarm Badge we earned last spring when 50 people were checked into the Sandbar at the same time.

So last night, I noticed that check-ins at the Sandbar were quickly approaching 1000. I wasn't sure if we'd reach that number last night, but sure enough, Erika checked in and became the one-thousandth check-in.


(To be clear, these are not unique check-ins; the number of different people who have checked in on Foursquare is 372. But that tells me that a) there's still a lot of different people who have checked in to a bar that holds 49 people, and b) we have a lot of loyal, repeat customers.)

I sent a quick tweet to Erika thanking her for checking and offering her a free t-shirt. She responded almost immediately and Dave hooked her up with a prize.

See, social media can pay off with free stuff. We also have a Foursquare special that gets you free jukebox tunes for checking in, and we're working on some other fun and creative things too.

I Want to Be Mayor!

Last Saturday, I stopped by the bar for a quick errand. A group of young people were sitting at the bar with drinks, talking to Coleen and fiddling with their phones. I heard one of the guys telling Coleen that he was checking in on Foursquare and that he was trying to become "mayor."

I was intrigued, because I haven't overheard customers talking about "checking in" and "foursquare" before. I asked him if he'd earned jukebox credits yet (a free perk after checking in three times between 5-9 p.m.) and he said he thought so.

The young man then said, "I think you should get a free drink or shot for being mayor!"

Unfortunately, many people don't understand that we can't do things like that because of Kansas liquor laws. We can't give away alcohol, and we can't even discount it. A drink has to be the same price, for everyone, all day. Thus, no happy hours.

We're thinking of changing our Foursquare special soon. Any suggestions? Legal ones only, please.

Oh, and if you want to knock off Caroline as the mayor, you're going to have to keep checking in.