The Yard Sale Case Study.

Proof that social media, clear messaging and audience segmentation works. Duh.

I blew up the Internet when I was helping my mom with a yard sale a few weeks back. It was a nice way to entertain myself while selling my cat collection from high school...

...and hanging out with my mom and her friends. 

While yard sellin' with my mom, I picked up a few examples to help you understand the importance of social media and clear messaging. 

Prioritizing the social part of social media.

Social media is for conversation. We all do the media part from time to time; sharing links, promoting things without engaging in conversation. The real advantage to social media is the social part; the conversation with friends, family and soon to be friends about common interests. 

I often get rid of things I like so most of the photos were of things I wanted to remember. I'm a sentimental sap, even though I like to purge. I was having a particularly hard time with this plate and considered pulling it out of the box several times (before and during the yard sale). 

Luckily this photo helped me find a new home for something that actually had meaning to me. The new "owners" are dear friends and we now have another story in our shared history. 


Awareness versus Lead Generation

I work with clients to communicate more efficiently with their customers. I am often approached by clients who want to do awareness while generating leads. Having a single message in your communications is important. Consumers are busy and they're most likely doing something else when they come across your sales communication piece. 

You need to be clear with them and tell them what you want. If your messaging is trying to do too much your consumer may not remember what you said.

This adorably sweet lady wants you to know she likes yard sales. You might tell her if you know another one that is coming up. 

This fun-loving gentleman buys comic books. You will tell him if you have comics or know where he can buy some. 

See how you react to their messages differently? She is building awareness. He is generating leads. 


Consumer segmentation

You've got a few types of people at a yard sale.

The yard sale pros

The ones that buy or sell on a regular basis. They know what they want. They know what they want to pay. They're looking to haggle and make a deal. They're experienced so they know if you're a novice or a pro and will play to that. They are likely to have specific interests and not deviate from those interests.

The explorers

Those who are searching, but don't know what they want. They think yard sales are fun! They just might find the perfect thing to solve the perfect problem. This person probably has a little money in their pocket and will willingly part with it. 

The advocate

Those who are attending the yard sale to be supportive. Perhaps it's your friend. Perhaps the yard sale is raising money. They may or may not buy, but they felt obligated to at least go. 

The convenience shopper

They're at the yard sale because it was in close proximity or they happened upon the sale while doing something else. They could be quickly converted into an explorer.

Wouldn't you talk to these people differently? You'll sell more if you can identify who they are (and what they may need) when you are communicating with them. 


As you head out to the yard sales today, or plan your next communications plan, keep these pearls of wisdom in mind. I hope you'll have as much fun yard selling or buying as I did on that hot day in May. 


The yard sale in this article was at Weddington High School in Weddington, NC to support the band.

It was a scream.