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How to use Meta's Facebook Business Manager [2024]

By Ryan Kane · January 17, 2024
A hero image with the Meta logo

Facebook's billions of daily users definitely make it an attractive place to advertise. One drawback to Facebook's scale, though? Its wide range of platforms and products—from personal Facebook profiles to Instagram ad accounts for business—can make it chaotic to navigate. Facebook's solution to the clutter is Facebook Business Manager, which helps you manage and collaborate on Facebook pages, Instagram profiles, and ad accounts.

Facebook's parent company, Meta, rebranded the tool to Meta Business Manager in 2022 (creating some confusion). Now, it's being gradually phased out in favor of Meta Business Suite, a similar platform (creating more confusion). For now, though, Business Manager is still the tool many advanced users and marketing agencies prefer to use to manage their Meta ads and assets.

I've used Facebook Business Manager for the better part of a decade to juggle multiple clients, business Pages, and ad accounts. In this article, I'll explain who Business Manager is for, how to set it up, and how to use it (along with Ads Manager) to create your first ad campaign.

Meta Business Manager vs. Meta Business Suite

Before we go further, a quick definition of terms is in order:

  • Facebook Business Manager: Launched in 2014 to help businesses and agencies manage Facebook (and Instagram) pages and ad campaigns.

  • Facebook Business Suite: Launched in 2020 as a more accessible version of Business Manager, aimed initially at small businesses. In recent years, most of its features have converged with Business Manager's features.

  • Meta Business Manager and Meta Business Suite: After Facebook's rebrand to Meta in 2022, both products were renamed. Most people still refer to them with the F word, though.

Here's where this gets more confusing: according to Meta, "Business Manager works alongside Meta Business Suite and Meta Ads Manager." Given how similar the tools are, the long-term goal is clearly for Meta Business Suite—which has a spiffier user interface, along with a mobile app—to replace Business Manager. For now (as of January 2024), both products continue to coexist.

And there is still a difference. Business Manager continues to be marginally more comprehensive than Business Suite. For example, for legacy users like me—I created a Facebook Business Manager account in 2017—Business Suite still links back to Business Manager if I want to change my business's settings.

Here's a look at the interfaces of each platform.

Meta Business Suite vs. Meta Business Manager interfaces

While most users now see Business Suite by default, you can still get back to Business Manager if you prefer. Just click Help in the bottom-left corner of your Business Suite menu, then Go to Business Manager.

Clicking Go to Business Manager in Meta Business Suite

Why use Business Manager instead of Business Suite?

  1. You're an advanced user. For now, you'll probably want to go old school and fire up Business Manager to make 100% sure you're not missing any advanced features that haven't been ported over to Business Suite yet.

  2. You prefer the Business Manager user interface.

  3. You work with a marketing agency that prefers Business Manager.

If you don't fall into one of these categories, you'll be fine sticking with Business Suite.

How to set up Facebook Business Manager

The process for setting up a Business Manager account used to be more complicated, but these days, the only prerequisite is having at least one Meta asset linked to your personal Facebook account (for example, a Facebook business Page).

Keep in mind that, like all mega companies, Facebook changes its interface frequently. The following instructions are updated as of January 2024 and reflect the increasing convergence between Business Suite and Business Manager.

1. Make sure you have a Facebook business Page

Before you get started, make sure you have at least one Meta asset linked to your personal Facebook account, like a Facebook business Page. If you also have a Meta Ads Manager account, you'll be able to pull that in as well.

To see the latest setup steps, I created a new personal Facebook profile along with a business page called "Green Landscaping," which you'll see in the images below.

2. Access Meta Business Suite

Make sure you're logged in to your personal Facebook account. Then, go to business.facebook.com. You'll be taken directly to Meta Business Suite.

Meta Business Suite welcome screen

Even without doing any additional steps, Business Suite is pretty useful—especially for entry-level users. You'll get access to features like a unified social media inbox for your Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as consolidated analytics.

But to get the most out of the tool—especially if you're planning to collaborate with others—you'll want to create a business account and tweak settings in Business Manager.

3. Create a Business Account to organize your assets

Click Create a Business Account to group assets that belong to the same business.

Clicking Create a Business Account in Meta Business Suite

Then, add a business account name and input your name and email.

Adding your account name and email to Meta Business Suite

4. Claim assets and add collaborators

Now that you have a business account, you'll want to pull relevant assets into it, like Facebook pages, Instagram profiles, and ad accounts.

Claiming assets in Meta Business Suite

You can add collaborators to help you manage your business account: employees have limited roles, while business admins have full control of your account. Later, in your Business Manager settings, you'll be able to customize each team member's permissions, as well as give access to marketing agency partners.

Adding more people to your Meta Business account

Once you've reviewed and confirmed these details, Facebook will generate your business account.

Note that Facebook uses an automated algorithm to approve or deny requests to create a business account. If you're using a recently created Facebook profile—like I did for my "Green Landscaping" example—your account may be restricted. For the rest of these steps, I'll be switching to my established Facebook business account.

5. Access Business Manager (for advanced settings)

You should now see something like this.

The Go to Business settings option

So far, you're still in Business Suite, which can do nearly everything Business Manager can do. For advanced settings, though, you'll want to use Business Manager. To get there, just click Business settings; or click Help in the bottom-left corner of your screen, and then Go to Business Manager.

Once you're in Business Manager, you'll notice a change in color schemes and user interface.

The Meta Business Manager interface

You'll also get access to all of Meta's tools and settings—not just those that have already been rolled out to Business Suite.

6. Add more users and partners (and tweak permissions)

Any collaborators you added during your Business Account setup should show up under Users.

Viewing partners in Facebook Business Manager

Business Manager gives you more granular control over which collaborators get access to which assets. If you're working with a marketing agency to manage your Meta assets, you'll add them under Partners, so they can create ads on your behalf. Finally, if you're making API calls to any of your Meta assets, you'll be able to control those under System Users.

7. Connect your social media profiles and ad accounts

If you didn't already connect all your relevant accounts during the Business Account creation phase, now's the time to do so. Business Manager allows you to link Facebook Pages, Instagram accounts, WhatsApp accounts, ad accounts, and more.

Connecting your social accounts in Facebook Business Manager

8. Set up Meta Pixel and Conversion API

The Meta Pixel (formerly known as the Facebook Pixel) helps track conversions and user activity. Due to changing privacy regulations, Meta is increasingly shifting users toward another solution called Conversion API.

For now, you can still set up both. In Business Manager, click All tools and then Events Manager. Then, click the green + button. In the pop-up that says Connect a New Data Source, choose Web (assuming you're tracking conversions and activity on a website).

Connecting a Data Source for the Conversion API in Meta Business Manager

Then, add your website.

Adding your website for the Conversion API in Meta Business Manager

Make sure to choose the option that says Meta Pixel and Conversions API, since privacy changes in browsers are making it harder for Meta's pixel to to accurately collect data.

Choosing Meta Pixel and Conversion API

9. Secure your account

Finally, you'll want to secure your account. To block unauthorized users, set up two-factor authentication and require it for any users who have access to your account.

Securing your Facebook Business Manager account

Once you've followed these steps, you're ready to create your first campaign.

How to create a campaign in Facebook Business Manager

Business Manager allows you to manage ad accounts, but to create a campaign, you'll need to navigate to Ads Manager.

1. Open Ads Manager

To get started with this process in Business Manager, click Ad accounts in the menu, then click Open in Ads Manager.

Clicking Open in Ads Manager in Facebook Business Manager

Once you're in Ads Manager, click Create Ad.

Clicking Create Ad in Facebook Ads Manager

2. Set your campaign parameters

What's your campaign objective—website traffic, likes, leads, sales, impressions—and how much budget are you willing to put behind it? By choosing an objective for your campaign, you'll inform the rest of the process.

Setting a campaign objective in Facebook Ads Manager

For a deep dive into Facebook strategy, check out Zapier's guide to creating a Facebook ad strategy.

Once you've chosen an objective, Facebook will give you the choice to set up your campaign manually, or go with its recommended settings. Then, you'll need to give your campaign a name and choose your budget and timeframe.

Choosing your budget and schedule in Facebook Ads Manager

3. Identify your audience

With a potential audience of billions of people, narrowing down your audience is key. Facebook's Advantage+ tool helps you identify relevant audiences based on behavior, interests, geography, and demographics. If you're an advanced user, consider drilling down further by creating a lookalike audience or custom audience.

Selecting your audience in Facebook Ads Manager

4. Select your ad placements

Meta's platforms host a wide range of content, so you'll need to decide where you're comfortable having your ads show up. Using the brand safety options, choose the ad inventory you prefer. You also have access to a growing set of placements, from Instagram posts to the Facebook feed to the billion stories posted daily across Meta's apps.

If you're not sure what placements to select, you can use automatic placements determined Meta's algorithms.

Selecting ad placements in Facebook Ads Manager

5. Create your ad

Facebook and Instagram are noisy places, so to stand out, you'll need an ad with eye-catching visuals and unbeatable ad copy. Create ads that are hyper-relevant to your audience, then select a call-to-action (CTA) that makes sense for your audience and campaign objectives.

Creating your ad in Facebook Ads Manager

To figure out which Facebook advertising strategies work for you, check out these examples of successful Facebook ads. There are many ways to create an ad that resonates, but all of them share something in common: experimentation and A/B testing. Make sure to run multiple ad creatives to see what your audience responds to.

Once your ad is ready, click Create Your Ad to launch it.

Connect Facebook to other apps

With Zapier's Facebook integrations, you can make Facebook more useful by connecting it to thousands of other apps. Automatically send leads to your CRM, add contacts to a custom audience, and anything in between. Learn more about how to automate all your Facebook business workflows, or get started with one of these pre-made workflows.

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Facebook Lead Ads + Mailchimp

Add new Salesforce contacts to a Facebook custom audience

Add new Salesforce contacts to a Facebook custom audience
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Send new paid orders in Shopify to Facebook conversions as purchase events

Send new paid orders in Shopify to Facebook conversions as purchase events
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Zapier is the leader in workflow automation—integrating with 6,000+ apps from partners like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Use interfaces, data tables, and logic to build secure, automated systems for your business-critical workflows across your organization's technology stack. Learn more.

Related reading:

  • How to get started with Facebook lead ads

  • How to download leads from Facebook lead ads

  • How to automate Facebook Custom Audiences with Zapier

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