Farmers are being encouraged to use social media to advertise their livestock to attract competitive buyers ahead of sales.
Auctioneers say it is more important than ever that the right buyers are there due to the limited number of buyers allowed around the ring.
According to the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS), advertising stock before an auction mart sale has significant benefits.
Neil Wilson, executive director of IAAS said: “There is, unfortunately, no place right now for farmers to just come along for a wander and a look around.
“Those who come must be serious buyers with serious intent to purchase so that competition is maintained around the ring to achieve the best possible price.
“Social media – which is free, easy to use, and can help spread your message widely – offers a great opportunity to do this, and is at most farmers’ fingertips.”
Good examples of posts include the use of attractive pictures or short video to help show animals’ health and conformation, Mr Wilson explained.
He said information does not need to be long or detailed, but just enough to peak buyers' interest.
This might include breed, fertility, growth rate, and anything special such as whether the stock comes from a closed herd.
Posts should spur buyers to action with the date, time, location of the sale, and the name of the relevant auctioneer – who can then take over the information sharing if the buyer rings them to find out more.
He said: “The likelihood is you’ll be out checking your stock and have your phone with you anyway. Why not pull it out, take a few good pictures, a 20 second video, and upload it to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?
“You can also ask your mart to share your post with their followers, and even give them your videos, pictures and blurb for them to post themselves for extra measure.
“You’ve got nothing to lose, but everything to gain from using what’s at your fingertips and attracting extra buyers to the ringside and increasing competition for your livestock.”