• Jim Lo

Ad and Merch Sales on Social Media Platforms

One of the many challenges that coronavirus have presented is a company’s ability to upkeep their sales without in-store foot-traffic. While most stores still remain temporarily closed, corporations with the ability to cover their loss in revenue have used online shopping and advertising as a means to get by. 


In early July, Instagram announced the “New Commerce Eligibility Requirements” to diversify Instagram Shopping into more businesses, including content creators and providing small business owners a chance to monetize their merchandise. 


Businesses, no matter self-owned or chained, could apply for Instagram Shopping as long as it meets the requirements. Below are 5 important guidelines that one should familiarize before applying.


  1. Comply with Facebook’s policies 

  2. Represent your business and your domain

  3. Be located in a supported market

  4. Demonstrate trustworthiness

  5. Provide accurate information and follow best practices. 


Though it didn’t specify the number of followers and outreach an account should hold, Instagram has made it clear that those who are rejected would receive detailed reasons with the opportunity to re-apply once the criteria are met. 


Instead of paying a monthly fee to be certified for Instagram Shopping, the platform takes a commission from each sale the business owner makes. Though it’s not the most ideal situation for small business owners, the new policy still created room for ambitious entrepreneurs a platform to advertise and market on. 


I think it’s helpful to dive into Facebook’s Ad Library tool and its cross-platform compatibility with Instagram. This tool gives a sneak-peek into advertisements that artists, celebrities, and brands are currently running. 


From the screenshot below (left), we could see that Alesso’s currently running 2 ads across 20 different countries. Both are pictures that he posted on Instagram, so once you click on the ad, it actually brings you to his Instagram page. See how in his bio there’s a link to his Shopify account, which is a perfect online advertisement for his merchandise.




Maroon 5, on the other hand, is currently running 25 different ads across 24 countries. They’ve posted both pictures and videos, and even though it shows that they’re advertising these content on Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger, once you click into the ads it directs you to their merchandise page.




It’s interesting seeing different techniques and platforms artists use to maximize social media outreach, and it’s good practice for amateur music marketers to learn about the industry. Most rising artists don’t have the means to compete due to low budget caps, but with Facebook Ad Library and Instagram’s new policy, they now have a better chance at reaching more audiences with minimal expenses.



The “Global Shopping Index”, published by Salesforce, suggested that unique digital shoppers rise by 40% year-over-year. Consumer dynamics were forced to alter when Covid-19 limited people’s physical appearance in public, causing e-commerce’s rapid growth in the year of 2020. Even older generations are adapting to online shopping amid the pandemic, driving global digital revenue in Q2 by an increase of 71%, as shown in the graph above. 


E-commerce of total retail purchases was only at 5.1% just a decade ago, but pandemic guidelines have redirected consumer behaviors where online shopping soon became a staple for most households. Brands and retail stores who survived rose to the challenge by shifting their gears into digital transformation, and that includes online marketing and advertising as well. 


The move away from traditional retail to e-commerce has been accelerated as the “norm”, especially amongst millennial and Gen Z consumers. Now that consumer behavior, values, and expectations have changed, take note, capitalize on the trend, and make this part of your revenue streams.











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