These days, there are articles and even books chock full of tips on how to use your social media networks to promote your business -- big business, small business, home business. Here's the good news: a garage sale is a business too! And many of the tips that apply to advertising any other financial venture apply to getting the word out about your garage sale.
If you have a Twitter account, mention your garage sale a few times in the week or so beforehand. Direct it towards anyone following you who you know would enjoy a garage sale lead, and give general information about when and where it is. Depending on how frequently you Tweet, you could even have a countdown to the sale, and make it either personal (just a few more things to do!) or public.
Facebook is useful for a variety of reasons. For one thing, you can update your status to let people know when and where your garage sale is going down. You can also create an event, with details about what you'll be selling, nearby garage sales, and location details. Invite your friends and ask them to invite their friends, and hopefully you'll get a few internet-driven shoppers.
Another way to use Facebook is to promote community sales by creating a group. Anyone participating who has a Facebook page can join in, and discussions can start detailing what people plan to bring, who wants to do what, and other important details of a neighborhood or church sale. Facebook gives you a great way to keep track of people attending, and provides you with an easy way to send out updates and instructions.
There are other social media accounts available out there; some are more-community oriented, and may be useful in your use of the internet for promotional purposes. No matter what site you use, you can help drive people to your sale by offering special discounts if someone mentions your account name. Ideas for specials include giving away a certain set of items for free; allowing a customer to fill a paper bag for a set price; or offering a percentage discount.
Joining garage sale groups, either on Facebook or another similar social network, gets you in touch with like-minded people who may have additional tips for you or who may be interested to know when your yard sale is. In Twitter, using hashtags connects you to the bigger conversation, so research to find some sale-related tags that will draw general attention to your post.
A more fun aspect of using social media is promoting any attractions or refreshments you'll be featuring at the sale. If your dog will be performing, take a snapshot and post it with a creative caption; if you're going to bake your world-famous double-chocolate cookies, write up the story of where you got the recipe and include some "testimonials" about their deliciousness.
And of course, don't forget the best online resource of all: GarageSaleCow.com! Everything is free, and you get instantly connected to a wide network of people who shop and sell just like you do.