What is Facebook Business Suite? Everything a small business needs to know
Facebook Business Suite, Business Manager, Creator Studio, Ads Manager, Facebook Pages – why Facebook? Why must you overwhelm small businesses with all these things? Let’s break it all down and find out what works for your business.
By Kirsty Nelms
Where has Facebook Business Suite come from? To give you a little background info, Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and then in 2019 Mark Zuckerberg revealed plans to merge all their messaging apps into one tool. In September 2020, during the global pandemic, Facebook launched their newest management platform, Facebook Business Suite. The idea was to make it easier and faster for small businesses to manage their presence on Facebook and Instagram using a desktop version and a fancy new app.
There are evidently still a few teething problems with Facebook Business Suite. Users are reporting issues such as content not posting to Instagram when scheduled, appointments not working, comments not showing up in the app and frequent app layout changes.
These types of bugs are not unusual when a new app is launched, but the platform still has some way to go.
So, what is Facebook Business Suite and why do we need it?
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, said Business Suite will allow small businesses “to post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, and manage and receive messages, notifications and alerts in one place. They can also easily see what’s working and learn what’s resonating with customers with Facebook and Instagram insights.”
The pandemic has meant that more businesses are relying now more than ever on their online presence to champion their brands and sell their products and services. Facebook produced a study on the impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ purchasing patterns, which found nearly half of those surveyed said they had spent more money online overall since the outbreak. The survey revealed 40% had increased their use of social media and online messaging for product and business recommendations.
The new management solution is designed for small businesses first, but the plan is to make it the main interface for businesses of all sizes who use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Currently, Business Suite is not available for all businesses, but it is in the process of being rolled out.
How do you access Facebook Business Suite?
To see if you can access it, head to business.facebook.com. You will either see the old Business Manager dashboard or the new Facebook Business Suite dashboard.
What are the key features of Facebook Business Suite?
Desktop and Mobile Experience: Manage your business presence wherever you go with Business Suite desktop or Business Suite mobile app.
New Home View: See new notifications for your Facebook Page and Instagram account in Home. You’ll also see an overview of recent ads and insights from your posts here.
Activity View: See who’s liked or commented on your posts, updates on your ads, and other activity on your Page and Instagram account.
Unified Inbox: Read new messages and comments from your Facebook Page, Messenger and Instagram accounts. You can also create Automated Responses to help save time when responding to questions people commonly ask.
Ability to Post: Publish or schedule new posts for your Facebook Page and Instagram Feed. Also see all the activity and insights for posts you create.
New Ads Creation: Create new ads, boost posts, and promote your Page and see metrics for ads you create directly in Facebook Business Suite. You’ll still have access to Ads Manager to see more details on your campaigns.
Updated Insights View: See how your organic and paid posts are performing with data on trends, activity on the content you share. You’ll also find more information about your audience here.
Access More Tools: Find other Facebook tools and settings you might use to manage your business presence in the More Tools section of Business Suite desktop. From here you can go to your Ads Manager, Account Settings, Audiences, Billing, Commerce Manager, Business Settings, Events Manager, and Page Settings. You can also go to your Facebook Page from here.
Who should use Facebook Business Suite?
The Business Suite is predominantly for SMEs who want to stay on top of their company Facebook and Instagram accounts through one unified dashboard. Once it’s all working correctly, this could be a great tool.
However, Facebook has said: “Note that this product is not currently meant for those using Ads Manager for advertising.” This means that more experienced advertisers should continue to use Ads Manager. But if you use the ‘boost post’ function or ‘promote’ button (which are much more simplified ways to advertise), there is a similar interface within the new Business Suite.
If you manage other accounts like LinkedIn and Twitter, you might want to either stick to whatever third-party solution you use (like Hootsuite or Loomly for example) or even combine the use of the Business Suite with that, to free up social media account slots. This is because some of the free or cheaper plans for social media management solutions are limited by the number of social media accounts you can link them to.
So, if Facebook Business Suite isn’t available to everyone yet, can I still schedule posts for Instagram and Facebook?
You can schedule posts for your business Facebook Page by heading to ‘publishing tools’ on the column on the left of your page and clicking ‘scheduled posts’. Create a new post from here and choose when you want it to go live. Remember to use your Facebook page insights to check when your followers are most engaged.
TIP: You can actually schedule to Instagram and Facebook in one tool currently, by using Creator Studio. It doesn’t always display in the column on the left of your page, so to check that out, head here.
Make sure you’ve created an Instagram business profile, and not a personal profile, then link your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page. Once you’ve done that, you can manage all your content and schedule Instagram posts too, using Creator Studio.
It’s always a good idea to check your Instagram content has posted though, as Creator Studio can have a few bugs and doesn’t always post your content!
Creator Studio is a good fit for businesses to manage their own content – especially video content, but not if you have a few pages to manage.
I hope this article has given you some great tips on how to manage your Facebook and Instagram content. If you have any questions about digital marketing, let me know by contacting me.