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Auctioneers regularly share their auctions on social media platforms. This benefits their clients by exposing the auction to more people. However, there is a correct way (and an incorrect way) to share auctions — and anything else — on social media.

If you show me that you have an upcoming auction on social media, I need to be able to click once to arrive at your website or bidding platform. It’s not good if I have to click many times to get to this same spot, and malpractice if there’s no link on which to click.

What I’ve seen lately is a picture of an auction handbill, likely taken by the auctioneer with his or her mobile device, and then this picture is shared on social media. The problem here is there is often no link mentioned in the advertisement, nor any link to click.

For example, I noted an auction advertisement on Facebook the other day which was a picture of a handbill (flier) with some items that caught my interest. On my phone, I couldn’t [easily] figure out if the auction was live and/or online, where the property was located, nor a link to the auction.

Statistics show that, for example, over 98% of Facebook users access the site with their mobile devices. If I can’t click (once) on your post to get to your auction, I’m likely not going to go to the trouble to try and find your link otherwise … and I didn’t.

If I was this auctioneer’s client, I would not be happy — especially if my auctioneer told me my auction was “shared” on social media — as in this format, it really wasn’t. It’s elementary to include a clickable link and again — malpractice — if no link (or if your seller consents otherwise) is actually present.

For those auctioneers who don’t have a link to share, are you suggesting your auctions are not viewable on the Internet? If this handbill is the only advertising, this constitutes even more egregious behavior as any auction open to the public should be findable on the Internet.

This problem likely stems from a general feeling when an auctioneer posts an auction online, that auctioneer is conscious of the time/date/location/link and so it sometimes doesn’t occur to the agent that the customers viewing that same advertisement aren’t aware of these same facts.

We noted in 2013 that auctioneers were posting auctions on the Internet without noting the specific location — such as saying the auction was in “Springfield” where there might be 34 “Springfields” in the United States: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/where-exactly-is-that-auction/.

Another similar issue to this is that this link should direct me to this specific auction advertised and as such minimize the number of clicks to find this property up for auction. Sellers likely wouldn’t like their auction link taking bidders to other auctions, and bidders want to find the subject property easily and efficiently.

The actual link doesn’t necessarily need to appear. For example, if a picture is posted with the link embedded (the picture is from the link,) and I can click on the picture to get to the link, that’s perfectly fine — and possibly even better than a link that appears farther down in the text. Again, it’s all about bidders easily and efficiently finding this particular auction.

What’s the take-home here? Online, at minimum, note the city and state of your auction and give me a link I can click from where I am likely looking at your auction advertisement — which is almost always my mobile device — taking me to more details and specific information about this particular auction event.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.