Art Sales on Social Media: An Update on Our Progress

In the fall of 2022, I embarked on an ambitious journey into the world of social media advertising. It was uncharted territory for me, a dive into the vast ocean of digital marketing with a singular goal: to see how well we could market and sell art through platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Now, 15 months later, it’s time to look back and reflect on this adventure.

The Experiment and Its Fruits

Our investment in this experiment was significant but calculated. We funneled a total of $58,986.88 into social ads, and the return was both surprising and affirming. Through diligent and targeted efforts, we generated $205,911.66 in sales, selling 975 items. This success story isn’t just in the numbers; it’s in the nature of our sales. Our art pieces, primarily smaller and easily shippable items, found their audience, with an average price point of $212.16.

However, it wasn’t all about small sales. Some of our customers, initially reached through Instagram ads, went on to make significant purchases, with our largest single sale reaching $3,200.

Discovering What Works

One of this journey’s most crucial aspects was understanding the ads that resonated with our audience. Contrary to popular belief, we found that video ads were the most effective, especially those running between 1 to 1 minute and 45 seconds. This was an apparent deviation from the often-advised 15-30 second format.

Algorithm Magic

An intriguing discovery was the efficiency of social media algorithms. While we did employ targeting strategies, some of our most successful ads were the ones we set free into the algorithmic wild, allowing the systems to optimize and find the right audience based on sales data.

Simplifying Creation

We opted for simplicity in an industry where complexity is often seen as a necessity. Our ads were created using, paired with AI-generated narrators from This streamlined process not only saved time but also allowed for greater creative experimentation.

Meta-BoteroAd-20231115 (Facebook Video) by Jason Horejs

Budgeting: A Balancing Act

Our approach to budgeting was cautious yet flexible. We typically started with a daily budget of $10-$20, adjusting based on the ad’s performance. However, a key learning was the diminishing returns on higher spends, with a notable increase in the cost per sale when our daily budget hit $300.

Moving Forward

As we step into the new year, the journey with social media ads is far from over. There’s an anticipation to explore and expand the range of artworks we advertise. This experiment has been a blend of learning, adapting, and growing – a testament to the ever-evolving world of social media marketing.

What Questions Do You Have About Our Social Marketing?

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to navigate this fascinating space. If you have questions about marketing art through social media, or specific questions about the results we’ve seen, comment below. I’ll try and respond to as many questions as I can, and to provide as much detailed info as I can share.

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.


  1. Jason. This was an absolutely brilliant class and learning experience. Exactly what I was looking for and I am excited to put the lessons in play in 2024. I will be telling my many artist colleagues about the class. Thanks.

  2. Hi Jason, very impressive. I appreciate you share numbers with us. I would like to know how does the revenue from social media compare to the time you have not advertised, but posted organically. Thanks

  3. Thank you, Jason, for taking us along your journey, as you were experimenting and tweaking Xanadu’/Pine Top online sales potential over the past year. What I learned watching you deftly tackle the question “Can I sell art online, profitably?” is definitely going to be a part of my professional art business practice, moving forward.

    Talk about right place right time, I was enrolled in your Art Business Academy (I HIGHLY recommend) last year and you gave us access to your journey regarding “Art sales on social media.” Both experiences were on point, and came at the right time for me, as I recently became a full-time artist (oil on canvas/linen).

    I needed knowledge I did not possess, in order to be successful, sooner than later. You delivered!! Above my expectations. Grateful.

    After ‘graduating’ from your Art Biz Academy, I was able to get into a gallery right away. I’m now taking an accelerated course through the Professional Artist Institute, and will cross paths with you again soon. Thank you for sharing your vast experience in navigating art sales, including ‘online’ sales. Much appreciated.

  4. How did the numbers pencil out to the final net value?
    Ad cost, employees time spent creating/tracking, your actual commission, shipping cost ( who covers that?), and any other direct costs to your effort?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Important details for sure. Time for packaging and shipping is a cost, certainly, but it’s a little hard to calculate because we already have all the systems in place to handle the process, and the time involved tended to be downtime when they were already on the clock. We didn’t have to hire additional staff or put in any overtime. For some of the sales the shipping was included for free, and averaged about 5% of the retail value of the artwork, but for more expensive work, the buyer paid for shipping.

  5. This is very interesting info. Of course most of us do not have $58,000 plus to spend on ads. I also do not have over $200,000 in inventory. Do you have any advice for starting this with a very much smaller budget and inventory. Thanks

    1. That’s the beauty of social media advertising – you can scale to fit your budget and inventory. We began our ads spending only about $10/day and scaled up as sales began to kick in.

  6. Thanks for this article Jason. This is exactly what I needed to read, especially using the ai narrator. I envision using an enhanced description that Theobot produced about my wire tree sculptures . In 2024 I plan on setting up a new website using my artist name (previously used my LLC name), new social media accounts, and marketing/selling online only for 2024. My plan is to budget $2-$3 per day on ads. I am ok if I don’t sell much in the first year, however, I think the investment in time is well worth it (40% social media marketing, 60% creating my art). Leo Hendrickson mentioned “brilliant class”, what was he referring to?

    1. Sounds like a great plan, but don’t discount the likelihood of generating sales in your initial efforts. With social media ads focused on selling, your initial sales results are likely to be reflective of your long-term results, so we want to optmize for sales right out of the gate.

      Leo is a member of our Social Marketing Insider program, which is a deep dive into how to run effective social media campaigns. You can learn more at

  7. Thanks for sharing. Once you posted the ads, what happens next? Did you collect contact info? Where did your links redirect viewers? Did you construct a funnel to pursue likely buyers?

    I’d also be interested to know how you constructed audiences on Facebook — high net worth? Interests?

    All this nity-grity is important. Anything you feel comfortable sharing would be appreciated.

    — Robert Dodge

  8. Wow, what a fantastic post. Thank you Jason. Especially love the fact you had an example ad and the average costs. This is brilliant!

  9. In a world where creativity knows no bounds, the fusion of art and social media has undeniably transformed the way we appreciate and purchase artwork. This insightful blog post sheds light on the dynamic landscape of art sales on social media, providing a fascinating glimpse into the evolving realm of artistic expression and commerce.

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