Discussion: What do you Feel is the Best Social Media Platform for Marketing Your Art?

Over the last several weeks, I’ve begun a discussion with artists about marketing art through social media. In today’s post, I would like to ask for your input and thoughts on the best social media platform for marketing and selling your art.

The social media landscape is always changing, but it does seem like we’ve reached a point where a few major providers are dominating the market. Each has it’s own niche, and each seems to offer certain advantages and suffer from certain pitfalls.

The Platforms


Facebook is the dominant player in the market. With over 1.86 billion active monthly users as of March 2017, Facebook dominates not only the social media space, but also the internet. Think about it: nearly a quarter of the planet’s population is active on Facebook every month, and many users are on Facebook multiple times throughout the day. If your potential buyers are on social media, it’s likely they’re on Facebook.


Facebook offers a number of advantages. The first is its massive scale. Because it has so many users and is generating so much revenue, Facebook is able to develop new features at a rate other platforms struggle to match. Facebook’s advertising system is relatively inexpensive and, once you get through the learning curve, easy to use.

It’s also likely that you are an active Facebook user yourself, which means that it doesn’t take a lot to transition from being a casual user to marketing your artwork through Facebook.


Because Facebook is so popular and widely used, there is a tremendous amount of noise in users’ newsfeeds. You often have to compete with other advertisers, your client’s friends, and all of the major news outlets to catch a potential buyer’s attention.

For those who are using a business profile page to market their work (more on that in an upcoming post), you can’t reach many potential buyers without paying for advertising.

Facebook is also suffering a bit of a mid-life crisis. The social network is now over 15 years old, and many users suffer from Facebook fatigue. The amount of daily time users are spending on the platform is decreasing, and a lot of people are loudly declaring that they aren’t going to use Facebook any more. I’m not suggesting that Facebook is on the decline, just that there are those who are tired of it.


When thinking of social media, YouTube isn’t typically the first brand that jumps to mind. In fact, many people don’t even think of YouTube as being a social platform. I would argue, however, that YouTube checks all of the boxes of what it means to be social. YouTube’s content is largely generated by it’s users. Users can get followers. Viewers can comment and start discussions about the videos that they see. If that’s not social media, I’m not sure what is.


YouTube also has a massive number of active monthly users – somewhere around 1 billion. I’ve had reports from artists that video is a great way to engage users by showing the work in progress and telling stories. YouTube is a great platform for sharing videos in a focused way, and you can easily embed YouTube videos on your own website or on other social media.


Unfortunately, YouTube is a bit of a cultural wasteland, and I don’t hear of many artists discovering new clients or making sales to unknown buyers through YouTube.

YouTube also has a comment problem. The YouTube community seems to encourage negative, nasty comments. You can disallow comments, but you then lose the social aspect of sharing your videos.


Instagram is owned by Facebook, and you can integrate your Instagram posts into your Facebook network, but Instagram has a life of its own. Instagram was the second most mentioned platform when I recently asked artists about where they were selling art through social media.


While Instagram also allows you to create a network of followers, it also encourages users to discover new contributors, and, by tagging posts, artists can reach out to potential buyers who might otherwise never see their art.


Instagram skews toward younger users, a demographic that doesn’t match up to slightly older art-buying demographics.


For some time, Twitter was considered a top-contender in the social media space. Over the last few years, however, it seems to have settled into a niche primarily used for the distribution of news, celebrity gossip, and presidential rambling [no comment].


Over the last several years Twitter has made it easier to share images. Because Twitter is a smaller network, it’s active users tend to be more engaged, and I hear reports from artists who have used Twitter that they have been able to develop a very loyal following.


Pinterest would seem to be custom-made for sharing artwork. Built completely around the concept of sharing images, and designed to allow users to pull together images they like so that they can then share them with their friends and with the world at large, I remember being very excited about Pinterest when I learned about it.

Unfortunately, Pinterest was a bit late to the social media game, and has never taken off in the same way that Facebook or Twitter did.


All about connections, Linkedin is notorious for filling people’s inboxes with invites from their contact list. Linkedin has also become a niche service that seems primarily to provide professionals with job opportunities.


Millennial and youth-centric, Snapchat provides ephemeral messaging. I didn’t hear from any artists who are selling art on Snapchat, but if you are, please leave a comment below!


Google tried to compete with Facebook. It didn’t work, but parts of their platform are still around, including their very successful video meeting platform, Hangouts, and their communities.

The Others

It would be almost impossible to keep up with all of the social media sites that have come and gone over the last few years. Tumblr, MySpace, Flickr, Digg, Reddit, and on and on. While some of the other platforms are much, much smaller, each platform still has millions and millions of users. There seem to be countless avenues for sharing and selling your art.

What Social Media Is Working for You?

Have you had success selling your art on the platforms listed above? On other platforms? Are you active on more than one social media platform? Where have you sold your art? What other benefits have you seen from sharing your art through social media? What advice would you give to artists who don’t know where to begin with social media?

Share your experience, success, and the challenges you have faced as you’ve looked for the right social media platform to share your art. Leave your thoughts in the comments bellow.

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 reddotblog.com, 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. Hi Jason – I’ve posted regularly to Facebook for years, no sales there. Instagram and Pinterest too, no sales. I tried regular posting on youtube for a while, and of course, no sales. I’ve even taken guru social media for artist courses to improve my social media sales, and you guessed it, I did what they said and, well, no sales. So I ask myself, why pound my head against the door and keep doing something that isn’t working? Well, I think the answer is that it’s not really about sales – it’s more about using social media as a valuable marketing vehicle to remind people that I’m out there. And marketing is difficult to measure. I do have sales through galleries and direct email newsletters.

  2. I use both Facebook and Instagram.

    I keep Instagram as my photography portfolio. I post process videos, my current work, and I actively engage with artists who have similar interests to mind. When I was in Europe for three months in 2018, I met several of these artists, notably in Wales and London, who took me on multiple day photo shoots in their countries. I made new friends and had exciting adventures.

    I have never sold on Instagram, but people who have purchased from me on Facebook follow me on Instagram, and this cross-pollination is an important note.

    I have sold many pieces (okay, several) on Facebook. I use Facebook exclusively for posting my current work. I do not engage in any other kind of activity, and as a result, I have an unusually “clean” feed devoid of politics and memes, etc.

    I show process, locations, and I tell stories about my work. I give my work evocative titles. Sometimes I run little contests for naming a piece. Every once in a while I ask people’s opinions about which of two images is better or other questions. These are always authentic questions, and people love to give their opinions.

    I have a large following on Facebook, and I am very unhappy that Facebook allows my images to be seen by so few. To show work to all my own followers, I would have to pay for advertising.

    I have a very time-deep following on Faceback with literally hundreds of people dating back to the 1980s as friends. Everyone I’ve sold to on Facebook has been drawn from that well. I know exactly the demographic of people who have purchased. I haven’t actively pursued selling on Facebook, and I don’t have a business account. It just happens.

  3. I’m just getting started on the content production side of Social Media.
    I have a long term Facebook account (personal) and have recently started a business page because of a website rebuild.

    I also started an Instagram account but it was and still is a mess. I have connected with many artists world-wide and am working through the hashtag jungle.

    The other long term account is LinkedIn which, as Jason mentioned, has become mainly advertising for companies and products I don’t want or need, and job opportunities that are out of my league or desire. The plus is, whenever I post to my page, I get people checking me out. Some are already contacts, others are new. While I have not sold any work directly, I have had invites to write guest articles. As a retired arts educator, this is a remnant from that career.

    What I have found is, trolls are everywhere and come at you from some pretty untoward places offering “services” and “advice” that is extremely unseemly band unwelcome in some cases. Blocking and erasing is a needed feature which is counterintuitive to the while notion of “social” I would guess.

    1. I just retired and I am now selling my artwork full-time. I have a personal Facebook account I have used for years to sell my art. I have been very successful with direct sales, and directing clients to my art shows. I just opened a business FB and Instagram accounts. I am at the beginning stages of my journey. Thanks for all your input.

  4. I used to have both personal and business pages on Facebook, but deleted them over a year ago. I felt that FB was too polluted with garbage that I was either wading through to get to the content I was actually interested in, or in which my account was getting lost/buried. By leaving I have hobbled my business a bit – as there are groups/individuals and other businesses who solely operate on Facebook… so I removed myself from the loop. My business also no longer appears on certain map apps because of my FB departure.

    Although still under the umbrella of FB, I use my Instagram to keep my followers interested in my work. And although I haven’t sold anything through Instagram, I have gotten attendees to my Open Gallery events. It’s just a bit difficult as really you have to pay to play (boost posts) which I cannot afford.

  5. We (I work with my husband) have found most contacts and sales have come from Pinterest followed by instagram. I feel that Instagram works better for lower cost items (say below £300 which limits its effectiveness for us).

    Interestingly we are not active on Pinterest in our own right but others have posted our work on their “pin boards” which then points people to our websites.

    Instagram changed their algorithm a few years ago and we have found it much more difficult to attract followers and likes etc. But not impossible. Many followers on Instagram are other artists or people looking to learn a craft so are not really interested in buying – but you never know, every follower has the potential to become a client.

    Interestingly, Facebook hasn’t really worked for us.

    For us most sales probably still come from our “previous client” list – but with covid lockdowns, social media has been valuable in attracting actual and potential new clients.

  6. With all of the advice on how artists should/can self-promote, I think we are preaching to the choir….other artists and our personal friends. I am being bombarded with requests to sign up for newsletters from fellow artists, too. Instagram seems much more professional with the emphasis on images posted but now the “advice” is that we must include stories and reels. Add all of this together means not much time or brain power is left over for actually making art. Finding real collectors is the hard part. I have been playing with hashtags that may lead to actual art collectors and not just other artists.

  7. My greatest use of social media for art has come through Instagram. I resisted using any social media platforms for many years but finally gave in around mid 2017. A fellow artist urged me to make use of this free advertising channel. I loathe Facebook and very rarely post any of my work there. While I personally haven’t had any negative experiences on Facebook, I have noticed that the overall tone of comments are aggressive and politically charged. Since I don’t use Facebook often, my following and views there are low.

    On the other hand, I’ve had nothing but positive experiences on Instagram. I love the inspiration and support I’ve found from other artists around the globe. It has been great for finding calls for artists and keeping in touch with local galleries. I have made quite a few sales through Instagram, though I do not sell directly on this platform. Sadly, there is a growing number of users who “buy” likes and followers, so it can feel like much of the platform is deceiving.

    I’ve used Pinterest for a few years but have not put forth an exerted effort to grow my page. I have found Pinterest useful for leading people to my Etsy shop, where I sell merchandise that features my artwork (home goods, clothing and accessories).

    I’ve also used TikTok but again, it is not a platform I use often. I have seen younger artists generating a massive following and sales, mostly for more novelty items like epoxy/resin artwork on products and items that would fit better in a “craft” category. I tried Tim Tok because I didn’t want to put “all my eggs in one basket” and leave all my social media content just on Instagram. Although Tik Tok May have started with a younger audience, the same argument could be said for Facebook and Instagram.

    It appears that whichever platform you engage with the most will prove to be the most successful and useful to you. Social media is definitely worth taking advantage of though, as it is free advertising and exposure for your business and artwork.

  8. After years of hard work keeping my Facebook and Instagram accounts active, fresh, and relevent, I am happy to report a recent success story. An art consultant discovered my work on Instagram and has sold several custom prints of my photos in the range of $700 – $1700. I also have reputable gallerists and curators following me on both platforms. So, one success story and perhaps some future possibilities.

  9. It’s all about finding the right audience! Here’s my experience:

    – I found a closed group on FB that eats up my art… I typically sell major art within an hour of posting (right audience!), but I limit posts to once a week and the posts only show my art in conjunction with a conversation, to avoid being too salesy
    – Posting on personal page results in small item sales (prints, classes, books)
    – Business page doesn’t do much (I refuse to pay for ads)

    – Great potential, however because I don’t post much and don’t spend enough time working on the right hashtags, I haven’t built up the audience (a few art friends do really well on IG)

    – Sells lots of small items like prints because of link to Etsy
    – Unfortunately, a large source of unauthorized use of my work.

    Downside of posting on Social Media – FB and Pinterest make it too easy for people to download / screenshot photos – on any given week, I’ll find my art being (illegally) used to promote/advertise 5-6 events around the world. Only a handful end up signing an art license and paying

    Upside – it’s easy and free (unless you pay for ads)!

    1. Forgot to mention…
      No matter the venue, I think it’s really important to drive folks back to your website and mailing list! My newsletter is what stimulates most sales of my books, classes and other small items that are my bread and butter.

      1. Really good point Beverly. I love your website by the way! I have had many contacts through Facebook and several sales though I do not list my price and I just say message me. On Instagram, I have a lot of artists following me.
        My best sales still come through my website and though I list my prices on it, I do not have a shopping cart. I am so afraid that I will miss seeing a sale. I have better things to do (like paint) than monitor social media and carts. I just finished a commission for 32 paintings for a hotel and they contacted me through my webpage. That brings me back to why I like galleries. I let them do the promo work and that gives me the freedom to paint.

        1. Thank you!
          I don’t monitor either – I agree, way too much time.

          Your website and work are lovely! May I ask if there’s reason you haven’t added a cart to your website? If it’s possible (on your platform) to add price (definitely) and a cart, I highly recommend doing so. Reaching out to ask for a price can feel a bit too committed for some folks especially if they don’t know if the piece is in their price range. Just my 2 bits!

  10. I have a personal page on FB and a business page, on which I occasionally ” boost” posts. Most of my sales come from, oddly, the personal page. As I’ve continue on, I remain surprised by the number of “friends and followers” who become buyers, but nothing so far from the business page. Of course, if the people who “like my profile picture, and want to get to know me and become friends” from my rare public posts were art buyers, I’d be a rich woman. Geez.

    Need to get out and publish newsletters, blogs, etc. and really learn the business side of FB and Instagram. But in the middle of changing work, location, and other stuff…so that lags.

  11. I’m still finding how to find the right audience on fb and ig, perhaps li. I’ve pretty much given up on pinterest. You didn’t mention wordpress, which also has carts you can put on your blog, I believe. The most astonishing thing you wrote was that myspace is still alive, wow I thought it had died about 10 years ago. You learn something every day.

    1. Word Press is not a social media platform. It is blog building software. Very nifty software, Imight add!

  12. I have an Instagram account devoted solely to my art business, and a Facebook page to match. When I post on Instagram, it cross-posts on my Facebook art page. The advantage that I find to Instagram is that it’s far easier to gain new followers; I’m at over 1100 on Instagram, vs. 365 on my Facebook page that I’ve had far longer. That said, I have found it a huge challenge to actually reach potential clients on either platform; on Instagram especially, so many of my follows are other artists – which is not to say that artists don’t buy art, but I think they are probably in general not the demographic that I’m hoping for. I’ve put a lot of effort into researching appropriate hashtags, but I still don’t feel like I’ve found the “magic” formula.

    I create things in a range from higher end fine art to lower end gift items that I sell on Etsy, and I would say that it’s possible that Instagram has netted me a couple of small Etsy orders over the past couple of years, but to my knowledge, I have not sold any fine art pieces through any social media contacts. But I haven’t given up hope!

    I have a Pinterest page, but I haven’t updated it in ages and probably will not bother. While it did and does drive some traffic to my Etsy page, I have found, as someone else noted, more unauthorized use from that platform than the others, and keeping Pinterest current just went over the bandwidth I have to handle social media. So I will probably just stick to IG and FB and keep hoping that they are providing some sort of benefit to me, even if it’s not measurable. There’s so many analytics and insights available to better understand visitor traffic… but that, too, has been more than I can manage. So I just try to post appealing photos and keep on creating!

  13. I have a personal FB page and a separate business FB page for my art. I also have an Instagram account that is for my art business only, and it posts automatically to my FB art page. For my experciance, I have found Instagram to be the best social media program not only for gaining new followers, but to generate opportunities. I’ve been invited to show work in two galleries thanks to my posts on Instagram. And when I am in group shows, either juried or invitational, the venues and I tag each other and that drives even more interest to my work. I have had a few sales inquiries from Instagram, but no actual sales yet from those; my work is in the $2K-$10K range, so that may be why. In that price range people often want to see things in person and my work is often large. I also do not have a cart on my website, as I generally do sales in person. I do occasionally do a promotion on Instagram, which seems to boost my account. I also have begun using stories and reels to some success, as well.

    Facebook just doesn’t seem to generate as much interest or opportunities as Instagram. I’m trying to remember to use Pinterest more. That may be a platform that has some potential. I also post sometimes on Linked-In.

    All in all, Instagram just can’t be beat for connecting with those who are interested in artwork, both as potential customers, or as opportunities to exhibit.

  14. Great topic, Jason!
    Although I am very new to selling art prints online, I have been using several platforms for selling my art “services”. Such as [my personal website], Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and LinkedIn.
    Since FB started in 2004, I have been a user and feel this is the BEST platform for newbies to start on social media, as well as quickly gain momentum. I can say with confidence that ALL of my art & photography sales came from Facebook followers, word of mouth and posts/advertisements.
    As for the other platforms, my attitude is to be in it for the long haul because it takes a very long, long, LONG time to gain followers! There are no ‘get rich quick’ tactics, or in this case, get a following quickly schemes. It takes several posts daily and engaging with people who follow in order to get the algorithms to kick in… and the same goes for any other platforms that I mentioned.
    However, the amazing thing is that all of these platforms are FREE services that include instant viewers, a personal profile, website info, phone number, storefront…etc. Also, most of them are very simple and fun to use, and well…, great places to share, meet people, socialize and talk about art!

  15. I have a personal Facebook page, and a separate business page where post only art-related news and images. I have a business Instagram page which I use exclusively for my art. I often cross-post on these pages, and post stories with links to my website or one of my blog posts. I have had my Facebook page much longer than my Instagram page, but I have almost twice as many followers on Instagram. That said, I agree that most of those are fellow artists, plus some art professionals and galleries – not so much collectors. When I advertise, I target Facebook more than Instagram.
    I can’t say that I have made sales directly from social media. It does raise awareness, though. On my website I just have fine art prints for sale in the $300-$400 price range. I don’t have a shopping cart for original art. A big percentage of my art is large-scale and over $20,000 – selling through my website just doesn’t seem reasonable. I do give price ranges, and encourage people to email me with queries.
    But maybe that isn’t the way to think about it?
    I guess that social media, for me, is a way to get my art seen by an extended audience. I share process, too, which gets a good response. I would like to get more people to sign up for my newsletter. If there was an easy way to grow my audience (and attract collectors) I would do it!

  16. Besides my open studio events, I sell thru Facebook and Instagram. Probably at least 50% of my sales come thru these social media outlets. It’s hard to differentiate exactly how much is FB and how much is IG, because my followers and buyers are on both platforms. It’s hard to say at a glance where they find my work first.

    I will say this: I much prefer interacting on Facebook because it is much more personal than Instagram. Instagram is much more about SHOWING than interacting, unless you’re a celebrity doing a Q&A live video. But my point remains the same; IG is more of a one-way communication. Even though there is the opportunity to interact, for the most part the users are not into that. They just want to VIEW and SHOW.

    The key for success though, on either platform FOR ME…is revealing who you are as a human being. This means going beyond simply showing a painting and a title and expecting people to buy. They are interested in the story behind the creating, and the person behind the creating.

  17. I have been promoting my images around the world on Facebook.

    I do not sell my art.
    My objective is to get images to the people.
    I have reached millions and built a strong fan base.

    The internet is the radio for the visual artist…..

  18. while social media and the various art groups on facebook are interesting i find few sales arise although sometimes the traffic on my website picks up. periodically a corporate client contacts me after finding the facebook posts. would likely work better with lower value works as the audience would be larger, my works are above that mass market threshold it seems.

  19. My opinions – No social media is good for direct sales unless … 1 – you spend a real lot of time promoting your work there AND ..2- .you sell inexpensive, very commercial art (think “inspirational art”, hallmark card art, puppy dogs, etc) OR you are the “Mr or Ms Popular” type that has 1000+ friends or 5000+ followers – if you are one of these people you could probably sell tens of thousands of dollars of low priced art because your friends/followers are just dying to be part of your scene, and would most likely buy anything you put up for sale – quality is totally unimportant – they’re buying just to get your “approval” – they don’t care at all about what you might want offer (a small scale version of Trump selling out his “trading cards” for $99./ea). If you’re not one of these people, and your art is even medium priced, my opinion is you wont sell any art directly from any social media. BUT – you can get quite a few people to be aware of your art.. which, over time may very indirectly lead to a couple of sales. I’ve been a FB user for over 12 years – i have a personal page and a business page. I vary between being an active poster, and an occasional poster. I have not sold a single artwork through FB. I have boosted about 20 posts – they produced a fair number of views, but absolutely no sales (you can theoretically target you paid posts quite effectively – but thats only in theory – if for example you try to target art collectors, you get anybody who has ever engaged with any art post in any way – because of my boosted posts, I now get posts fed to my page from over 100 artists trying to sell their work via paid ads, and another 100 businesses trying to sell services for artists – be that Windsor Newton, or a gallery in Vancouver wanting me to be a buyer of their artworks; or people offering me instruction in how to sell lots of art on the internet (if they can sell so much art on the internet as they claim, why are they wasting their time trying to get me to spend $30-$100 on their great course – when they could be making tons of art to sell to their thousands of customers – a far more lucrative endeavor if they could sell lots of artwork at $500.-$2500/ea and up.)

    As for Instagram – I don’t use my IG account because it got hacked within 24 hours of my setting it up, and though IG caught it immediately, and no harm occurred – it put me off IG permanently – I have a very good friend who is a successful (shoots for Calvin Klein, John Varvatos, L’Officiel, etc) NYC fashion photog who swears by IG – but he’s selling his photography services, not his art, and is really only interested in staying very connected to the very close-knit fashion/publishing/advertising world of NYC which IG is fabulous for.

    I don’t use Pinterest – but a lot of my work has been “pinned” by others – and the “pin” page for the artwork does have a link to the on-line gallery of mine where the work is for sale – I suspect that 1 or more of my on-line gallery sales may have come from such a “pin” of my works – but I cant be sure – I have had no issues with unauthorized use of my work from “pins” of my work by others.

    LinkedIn – I have a LinkedIn account from when I used to be in financial info sales, which I then revamped to be an artists page (I have connections in LinkedIn that are in the top 1/4 of 1% of Americans in net worth, who could easily buy ALL of my artworks at once without even noticing it on their next bank statement – NONE of them has ever bought anything, nor will they – LinkedIn users art totally obsessed with their business only – I maintain the account really just for “curiosity” –LINKED-IN IS NOT THE PLACE TO SELL ART OF ANY KIND

  20. I have a question: I have thought about tagging galleries that I might want to approach for representation in the future, is this a good idea? Jason, as a gallery owner, how do you feel about artists tagging you on Instagram? Artists, have any of you done this? If so how did it go?

  21. I think one needs to approach social media like any broad market and know if their art appeals to that broad market or is very niche. If niche, then there should be strategies to identify the ideal customer and where they connect on social media. It looks like this is what Ms. Gilbert has done in the closed group she talked about above.
    I’m a late-life, third career artist and I won’t have time to seek those communities – I need to spend all my time learning to paint! At some point what I make and the audience that will pay for it will cross paths (though I might be dead!) I’m more likely to take time to find galleries that can be my champion, putting my energy in that rather than in the wilderness of social media. Still, we each will find our own way forward. Best of fortune to us all.

  22. I’ve been trying to sell my artwork on the internet for over 23 years now.
    The marketing mentor that I work with says that everything I do on social media should draw people to my website.

    I use FB and FB stories as well as Instagram to highlight my art and that leads folks to my website.
    I’ve made a handful of sales since 2009, when I started. But that’s all. I keep it up, just in case.

    I try to keep my feed fresh with new faces. I have close to 5000 friends, so mixing it up can be tricky. One thing I do is send everyone of my friends a birthday greeting, something bright or a fun gif. Also, before I turn the light out at night, I spend some time surfing the most recent “Feeds” and responding to people who are “friends” but that I have no connection with. That keeps my fingers in the mix, so to say. It brings new folks to my “home” page so I get to know more and more of them. When I send out friend requests, I only send requests to people who are already friends with people I have interacted with.

    I don’t know if it makes a difference, but it feels like it does. It feels like I’m using FB to my advantage.

  23. I started selling my art in 2020. Really bad timing. I started a website and Facebook page. 85% of my sales are through Facebook. Using Google analytics to discover the audience visiting my website I was able to customize my Facebook ads aimed at that audience. You want to learn how to customize your ad audience so that your ads are directed at a specific user. My audience is 35 – 65+, who follow art museums, art auctions, places like Sotheby’s, follow art galleries, like realism, shop online, have purchased online, are college educated, etc. The clicks you want on a Facebook ad can be toward a very specific audience. I sometimes aim my ads at women which is 65% of my website visitors. When you’re paying per click for an ad you want each click to count and that’s by finding your audience.
    I’m also on YouTube and share those videos to other social media. I’m also on Instagram, and TikTok. I’m not sure TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are worth the investment in time. I use square for my website which allows me to link to my stores on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Each time I load a new painting on the website they show up in the social media stores which is a real time saver.

  24. I sell small pieces in a local gallery gift shop. I don’t earn a lot as they are prints, but it’s gratifying that people like my minimal line drawings of diverse drawings.

    I sold a watercolor painting to a couple I met in a writing workshop.

    One family member has paid me for some paintings. That is the most convenient.
    I would definitely trust Jason with my paintings.
    In general though, I don’t approach galleries as I
    worry about the safety of my collection

  25. I use only my Facebook business page to regularly promote my painting and sales. Occasionally I also post on my regular page but only event announcements,
    I haven’t sold directly from the business site but have had good responses to my work. I primarily use a boosted post/ad to drive people to my website (I have a monthly amount for this in my business plan) and then on to subscribing to my newsletter. But I am re-visiting that approach – while getting some shares, great response in targeted ads, it has led to few subscriptions and no sales. However, I have expanded, by a small number, my FB business followers. I’m not doing any other social media – I just don’t want it to use up what precious time I have. My new gallery is very good at all these ways of generating sales so I’m relaxing a little; I have made sales through responses to event advertising, but only by people who came to events or collectors who already know and buy my work. I also use this page to post pictures of various stages of my paintings.
    One successful method I have found is using FB business account to announce a new series and then connect followers with a special web page I design around the new series. This has helped sell very small pieces (unusual for me 8×8 or 8×10) but none of my mainly much larger work.
    We are revisiting my annual business plan and may put my advertising dollars into other things.

  26. I have my own artist’s website, and I primarily use Facebook to post my latest paintings. I have made occasional sales from both.

    I’m a retired car salesman (from one of the largest car dealerships in the state of MD), so I admit that I may be a lot less shy about talking to people – than what most artists might be. None the less, I focus on shameless self promotion. I keep a supply of business cards on-hand, and I talk about being an artist to just about everybody I meet. Most of my early customers were other car salespeople, who had seen my work. To this day, whenever I complete a new painting, I’ll take it to the dealership and show it to any and everybody. I’ll say, “I’m here to brag on my latest painting. Check it out”

    From Early November, until Christmas, I did over 30 commissioned paintings…mostly dog, cat, and people portraits that I painted directly onto glass Christmas Balls. Around 1/4 of those were memorializing loved ones who had passed away. I approach it as an honor to be trusted to produce a recognizable rendering, so I give each one my best effort. I also painted very detailed portraits on canvases in sizes from 8″ x 8″ – 16″ x 20″. I also was commissioned to create two landscape paintings using reference photos that I specifically took on-location for the jobs

    I’m also an member active of my local artist’s accociation. I am spearheading our largest fund-raiser, for which I approach businesses to sponsor our event and/or to buy add space for the program given to attendees of the fundraiser. This year, I am also aiming to boost our attendance by at least 10%. So when I’m talking to business owners about our artist’s assocition, I am also showing them my art.

    I exhibit my paintings in our artists association gallery, and at our 3 satellite locations. I’m also a member of a local artist group that meets weekly. I received a commission to do a painting from one of the other artists in my group. He told me that I was the only artist he would trust to do a good job… because he had seen my work. He told me that I actually exceeded his expectations!

    So if you have confidence in your artistic ability, and the time to market yourself…just do it!

  27. Facebook and Instagram have been my go-to for 8 years. I’m a sculptor, so not sensitive to people downloading and reproducing images. More the better! But I’ve got a reasonable following of…mostly other artists! I try to use the posts to drive people to my website, where I hope to engage and extend my influence (;-)) Not yet figured out how to extend my reach to collectors, and hoping to learn more from all of your success stories.

  28. I have two Facebook business pages, one for my paintings and one for my stained glass art. Both have helped make many sales that I am certain would not have otherwise happened.

    Instagram has mostly not done diddly, but it’s very easy to post on and more natural to every so often throw in something personal. A minute video of me juggling, an aerial arts stunt, of something I cooked that I am proud of, for examples. And over time, posting every week has gotten at least one person by now much closer to going ahead commissioning a stained glass panel.

    I do have a Youtube channel but it’s a mixed bag of aerial arts and videos of paintings in progress. To be a professional Youtuber would take much more time and energy than what it’s worth. But if I rejoin Toastmasters and get into serious public speaking someday though, I see it as being very useful.

  29. For Facebook, I think it’s important to create a business page that you keep separate from your personal page. That business page should be free from any political posts. (Why immediately alienate half of your potential customers?) I have to keep my art sales kind of small due to disability regulations, but on my business page (where I post finished work, works in progress, and funny things that happen throughout my processes) I will put art or color related posts or tutorials. That keeps me in the eye of my followers without the constant message of “buy.” When I finish a piece or have a gallery show, I will post about it in both places. However, my buyers pretty much always come from my personal page – friends requesting commissions or friends wanting to show support by sharing my posts. These friends contact me and coordinate their purchase through Facebook Messenger.
    However – when a personal friend gives me a referral, they usually give that person the address of my business page so that person can see my work without all of the clutter of the rest of my life being involved.
    Regarding Instagram – I kept an account for sharing photos of my work, but the attack got hacked and Instagram believed the random Russian person over my claim that it was MY account. I started over from scratch but lost my followers and my enthusiasm for Instagram. I think I’ll follow the recommendation you have for the dual platform posting from Facebook into Instagram. Especially as there is a potential customer base there that is not also on Facebook.
    I have a website but am wanting to slim it down and update the format. It’s on my list of things to do. Then I’ll be more comfortable referring people there as well.
    Great discussion!!

  30. I have had moderate success with Facebook, and I often sell my art to other artists. Instagram has
    been a disappointment, with no sales however, I do post there often. I also get sales from my etsy
    shop although it is not social media. I prefer Facebook because I find that the users engage more
    frequently and there’s more of a connection.

  31. Jason,
    I’ve been successful with Facebook depending on what you call successful.

    Right now, I’m developing a Substack as that is a platform both open to the web with its own vibrant, supportive community and email subscription based. It also offers multiple ways to monetize and doesn’t penalize external links to my art website.

    I think this will fit who I am as a writer and a selling artist—but I’m still in the development stage.

  32. Substack and Streamyard

    Substack for a mailing list that can also act as a blog and podcast, and Streamyard for live streaming and video scheduling to YouTube, Twitch, X, and beyond if you know how to hook up alternative sites to YouTube as “translator channels”.

    I really don’t understand the appeal of Facebook or Instagram these days. Both are throttled, holding your posts ransom for “boosts” and “ads”, and the platforms are intentionally full of bots and scammers. Why bother hanging out in Zuckerbot’s walled garden? I don’t see the value of those sites anymore.

  33. Have sold off and on through personal Facebook page, and also directed fans to my website. Sharing stories of my pieces has led to folks going to the gallery or venues with my work. Instagram is more to connect with those using it, and posting pieces in process. Realistically, groups on facebook are beneficial for continuous learning and mentoring others.

  34. Thanks for this post, Jason

    I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. I post my paintings on Facebook and Instagram and have had a few sales from my Facebook posts, but not from Instagram. I do not post my paintings on Twitter or Pinterest, however I do post my jewelry on all of the mentioned platforms. The only place I have sold my jewelry is from Facebook.

    It’s been interesting to read the comments. My main focus is going to be Facebook, so I am learning to tell more appealing stories hoping that will help. I am also working to build my email newsletter subscribers. The art business “ain’t for sissies”, that’s for sure.

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