06 Jul

What A Garage Sale Taught Me About Social Media

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What could a garage sale teach you about social media?  The answer to that question is something I learned on July 6th over the course of 1 day and 6 hours.  This lesson was something that I will take forward with me regardless of what I do in my life but I will say that it is very pertinent to where I am today as a social media marketer.  Let's break down what occurs during a garage sale and how it pertains to social media.


Knowing your target market is imperative at a garage sale, and the same goes for social media marketing.  If you are pricing your garage sale items outside of the pocketbooks of those coming to purchase then you will end up in one of two positions:

  1. Not selling anything and still having the cluttered mess that you had before you put everything out in the driveway.
  2. Negotiating items from the hundreds of dollars to $50 and being frustrated that it sold for so little.

If you know your target market then you can sell directly to their pocketbooks and the same goes for social media marketing.  Identifying those that are most likely to inquire and purchase your services and goods is of the utmost importance.  Saying that your product/service is for everybody means that it is for nobody since you will not know who to target.  Be very specific in who you want to targe with your marketing and be sure that those are the people that are going to spend money on you.  After all you want a positive ROI don't you.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat:

You have an end game when it comes to a garage sale and the same can be said for social media.  Your end game is to move as much product as you can at the hightest ROI.  In order to do that you need to constantly repeat your message.  When it comes to a garage sale that comes in the form of signs in neighborhood, emails to friends, posts to Facebook and Twitter with proper hashtags as well as listings on Craig's List to name a few.

With social media marketing it is not enough to post to Facebook once a week or on Twitter once a day.  You cannot blog whenever you feel like it and then expect the public to open their wallets and purchase from you.  You must repeat, repeat, repeat on social media.  The medium moves fast and because you think somebody saw the message does not make it true.  There are lots of other businessess out there that are marketing their product/service as well and you must make sure that your message is at the top of the public's mind.  In order to do that you must repeat your message and not verbatim but provide content that they are looking for with tips, tricks, ideas, humor, stories, etc.  Don't sell all the time in the way that a neon sign let's you know that the store is open but be subtle and provide content.....the sales will come.

You Have To Always Be Alert:

When it comes to a garage sale there are lots of people milling around.  They are touching and picking up and asking questions.  You have to stay alert and see who likes what and where they are going.  If they pick up a dish and then walk over to a table you have the opportunity to make a 2:1 sale.  Let's say you want to sell the dish set for $25 and the table for $150.  Why not package the two and let the potential customer know that if they take both the dish set and table that you will sell it to them for $150 total as opposed to $175.  They are getting a deal, you are making money AND getting rid of some items at the same time.  Also, throw in the fact that others see a person picking up items and walking out with them causes an idea for them that they need to move quickly or what they are looking for will get sold.

In social media marketing this means responding to inquiries from your followers.  Somebody may have a question about a product, another may have a thank you or story to share.  Ignoring either of these means the potential for a lost sale.  If you are not engaging your followers then it seems like the company does not care and that it is just there to market and sell.  In this day of social media marketing nobody wants to be sold to as if their opinion or money doesn't matter.  They want to be engaged and feel as if they are important. Ignoring these inquiries could lead to lost sales from that individual but more damaging is the potential loss of business from their family/friends connect to them on social media.  They now have an avenue to meet the masses, and quickly, about the terrible customer service they received from your company.

These three simple lessons I learned this past weekend as my wife and I held a garage sale to reduce the clutter and help us move a bit more efficiently.  Every time a potential customer stepped into our driveway I thought about how I could engage them (a simple good morning brought a smile to their face) and an easy question about what they were looking for specifically (typically the answer was nothing in particular but we did get requests for iPads and iPhones.)  This did not lead to an immediate sale but it did help us move everything except for a small box of utensils.  We know have a decluttered house, an easy move coming up and I learned more valuable social media marketing lessons to share with you.



Last modified on Monday, 08 July 2013 13:47
Jason Bahamundi

Jason Bahamundi is a marketing specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas.  An MBA graduate from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY with a BS in Marketing from SUNY-Oswego Jason started his career in marketing in the television industry creating marketing plans for Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer, Clorox, Kraft and Darden Restaurants to name a few.

Jason is not only a marketing professional, but also an Ironman triathlete, which is to say that he knows no limits.  Being able to be creative on the fly is one of his assests and has benefited him and his clients along the way.

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