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Facebook Business Manager: What, Why and How

From schools to small businesses, health services and nonprofits, social media managers everywhere have wondered what Facebook Business Manager is — and why it matters. 

“Social media has changed so much in the last few years,” said Andrea Gribble, owner of #SocialSchools4EDU, a company that provides social media services to 300+ school districts across the U.S. “For a long time, I was like a lot of people who were managing Facebook pages. I just assumed that Business Manager was a feature I could ignore. But in the last several months, it’s become clear that this is the future of Facebook and Instagram account management for schools, businesses and other organizations. To make sure you don’t lose access to the assets you manage, the time is now to start the transition to Business Manager.”

What is Facebook Business Manager?

Facebook Business Manager is a powerful tool designed to streamline the tasks of social media management. It can be used on a desktop browser and on the Facebook Business Suite mobile app. Gribble calls it a one-stop-shop that allows a manager to organize business tools, assets and access. (Assets include pages, ad accounts and other functions you rely on to work in Facebook and/or Instagram). Specifically, Business Manager users can:

  • Easily assign access to page managers without “friending” them first
  • Manage multiple Facebook pages and Instagram accounts from a single dashboard
  • Coordinate marketing and advertising activities
  • Verify your account using your domain
  • Increase privacy (personal profile sharing among coworkers is no longer required)
  • Use one streamlined mobile app to moderate all Facebook and Instagram accounts in a unified inbox

Unlike previous settings that assigned the various administrative rights to a Facebook page, the People section in Business Manager gives you a simple way to see all pages and advertising accounts — and the people assigned to roles for each. Now, when an employee changes roles or leaves your organization, you can remove all page and account privileges with one simple click.

Why should I care about Facebook Business Manager?

According to Justin Elbert, director of external communications for Klein ISD in Klein, Texas, a move to Facebook Business Manager offers a range of benefits to simplify workflow and responsive moderation of posts and comments on Facebook and Instagram.

“The Number One killer feature is the unified inbox,” said Elbert, who made the switch to Business Manager in 2016. “It brings all of your brand accounts to one place, including direct messages and comments on posts. Across all of Klein’s 150+ Facebook and Instagram accounts, we get a comment every five minutes or so. The unified inbox makes it so easy to monitor, engage and respond when it’s needed. I don’t have to jump around to different accounts or scan for comments left on different posts on a page. Everything is right there.”

Elbert said he also appreciates the ease of adding more managers without having to ask for access to a coworker’s personal Facebook profile. 

“We can send email invitations right through Business Manager, using our district email addresses,” he said. “The person receives a simple email invitation generated by Facebook that guides the recipient through each step they need to take to accept the invitation. We don’t have to find out any personal information, and we don’t have to worry that the process will be difficult or time-consuming to complete.”

A welcome way to cut distractions

Before Business Manager, it was nearly impossible for social media managers to effectively monitor the work accounts assigned to their care, without the constant distraction of personal notifications and news feed updates. Because all of your brand assets and ad accounts are easily monitored and moderated in Business Manager, keeping a timely eye on all the moving pieces no longer requires opening multiple browser windows or tabs. Personal notifications do not appear in Business Manager, making it much easier to separate professional use of Facebook and Instagram from personal use.

The Business Manager mobile app also helps social media managers make conscious decisions between work and personal social media activities. Klein said he appreciates that the app offers nearly all of the functionality of the online version, making it easy to monitor, moderate and manage accounts on the go. 

How do I get started with Facebook Business Manager?

Gribble realized in early 2020 that a move to Business Manager was no longer optional — but she also knew that busy organizations often put off changes, especially when they aren’t sure exactly how to proceed.

“A lot of social media managers in schools and businesses think it’s fine if they stick with what they’re doing and ignore Business Manager,” she said, “because they maybe only manage one or two pages and may not even use ads. But that approach brings way too many risks. I’ve seen schools lose access to certain features on their pages because the accounts are not set up properly — and when they make the change to Business Manager, those problems are resolved.”

Gribble said she understands the confusion and challenges that make people hesitant to make this change, especially in schools, small businesses and nonprofits, where social media may be just one of many responsibilities of a communications professional, leader or administrative assistant.

“When I made the change to Business Manager,” she said, “I realized that setting up a Business Manager account can be a curvy path. Every situation is a little different, which can leave busy social media managers frustrated or confused.”

Gribble created a clear step-by-step tutorial to share with anyone who wants additional support completing the transition smoothly. The steps she outlined work for any organization with Facebook and/or Instagram brand assets, including schools and businesses.

If your Facebook and/or Instagram assets include commerce accounts, developer apps or other more specialized functionality, this advanced tutorial offers additional step-by-step guidance.

Tips for success

Whether you’ve already transitioned to Facebook Business Manager or you’re just getting started, these best practices will reduce frustration and simplify your success.

  • Every person with administrative access to your Business Manager account should have two-factor authentication set up on their personal profile. Taking this simple step will help prevent loss of rights and privileges on the page.
  • Only one Business Manager can claim an asset. Typically, this would be the person in your organization with primary responsibility for social media. Users who are added to help with content and moderation are invited as managers. 
  • Be thoughtful about what assets will be part of your Business Manager account, especially if your organization uses ad accounts. Facebook pages can be removed from Business Manager, but ad accounts cannot be removed once they are claimed. 
  • School systems should ensure the top-level Business Manager account claims Facebook or Instagram assets for individual schools, departments or classrooms.  If the lower-level accounts are claimed by others (i.e., a principal or teacher, for example), access could be lost with a retirement or staffing change.

Under no circumstances should a business, school system or other organization ever set up or use a “fake” Facebook account or personal profile.

  • This is a violation of Facebook’s terms of service and introduces a wide range of unnecessary risks. Facebook is working to disable all fake accounts in the interest of safety and security. You risk losing access to your Facebook page and ad accounts if you have a fake account tied to it. [If you’ve gotten away with it for some time, your days are numbered. Fix this before Facebook fixes or disables you.] Facebook Business Manager allows you to assign multiple people management roles. It also eliminates any need to set up or use a fake account.
  • Schedule a short recurring Business Manager audit on your calendar each month. Take 15 minutes to confirm that the right people are assigned appropriate access — no more, no less.
  • Be sure to require two-factor authentication for everyone set up in your Business Manager. You can also easily see if anyone is inactive.

If you still need some technical assistance or encouragement as you transition to Facebook Business Manager, let us know. The CEL team is always happy to help.

Published on: June 2, 2021