By Dennis - Last updated: June 20, 2017 - Comments: 47

This is a rant about the mess that is Facebook Business Manager. It’s a result from spending countless hours messing with Facebook ad accounts, pixels and  product catalogs.

The end result is a collection of all the things that can go wrong with Facebook Business Manager.

It’s valuable to you because if you ever get anyone else involved in your Facebook marketing, you might run into these same issues.

So use this post to get unstuck, and if you really need to, use the comments to vent 🙂

Facebook Business Manager Intro

Managing access and permission rights to different assets and accounts can be a real hassle, on any platform. To make things easier, Facebook created Business Manager.
facebook-business-manager-overview
In their own words: “Manage ad accounts, Pages, and the people who work on them — all in one place. It’s free.”

To be fair Facebook has made a lot of improvements over the last couple of years.

And the basic stuff is easy.

But when it gets a little more complex, their system fails, and their support is unable to help out.

We manage a lot of Facebook Ads for our clients. So getting all access sorted and accounts linked usually is the first things we do before we can actually start on the fun part.

Part of the reason for this post to show the actual complexity of these seemingly easy things. Because there is nothing as bad as appearing like total newbies in front of a new client.

Business Manager Basic Setup

Usually a business owner is sailing along smoothly, running ads & managing their FB page. Then she decides to hire outside help to make her ads more effective.

What happens with our client is that I send over an in-depth step by step pdf guide to getting all of the access sorted.

If they don’t already have a Business Manager account, they first need to create one. Next they need to add all their assets:

  • Facebook page
  • Facebook ad account(s)
  • Instagram account

Once that’s done, you need to give new people access. Facebook has two kinds of access types: people or partners.

  • People is meant for people on your team, you can add them by the email address they’re on FB with.
  • Partners are agencies, they will internally be able to grant specific people within their team access to a specific asset.

Partners can get access in two ways:

  • You grant access to their specific Business ID
  • You give your asset ID (an Ad Account ID for example) to them and they request access

Remember that you need to grant access to every asset individually for each person or partner The above part doesn’t cause too much problems. It’s the next part that’s been a headache for most new projects that we’ve done.

Business Manager Advanced Setup

Let’s take a look at the advanced setup and highlight where it usually can go wrong.

Facebook Product Catalog

Clients often come to us because they know they what they want to do, they just don’t know how to make it happen.

Facebook Dynamic Ads are an example of that. To start the business owner needs to create a Facebook Product Catalog:
create-facebook-product-catalog Go through the setup, enter a name & click Create Product Catalog, skip inviting people or skip for now
create-facebook-product-catalog2

Associate Pixels & Apps With Product Catalog

If you’re lucky, your Facebook pixel, the one that is installed on your website and part of your ad account is listed here. All you do is thick the box.

If it’s not, take a deep breathe.

zen

Before we dive into the madness that is getting Facebook Business Manager set up perfectly, here are my one absolute best tip:

Start over again. Create a new ad account, new pixel, forget about the data.

After many wasted hours on these kind of setups, Facebook support has given me the same advice.

I have to say that i didn’t take it at first because I was stubborn. But it’s what I now advise clients to do.

Back to the pixel.

If the pixel isn’t in the list to link to your product catalog, you don’t have admin access to it. Up until this point, it doesn’t really matter who set up the accounts. But now it does.

A Facebook Pixel is associated with a specific ad account. It’s a way for Facebook sees what’s happening on your website. Who is visiting, what products are they looking at, what are they buying, etc.

The only reason you would give Facebook access to this data is if you get something in return. They do that through audiences. You’re able to create retargeting audiences and lookalike audiences based on that info.

First: Install Facebook Pixel Helper. It’s a Chrome extension that will tell you if a pixel is installed on your site and what the id.

Multiple Ad Accounts

If you have multiple ad accounts, the pixel installed on your website might not be the one associated with the ad account that you’re actively using. You can’t create audiences in one account and then use it in the other.

To clean up this mess you’ll need to claim all ad accounts into your Facebook Business Manager. If someone did the website setup, or Facebook ads for you, it’s likely they have admin access. Try to get in touch with them to transfer the ownership?

Normally you can claim an ad account. Only if it has been claimed to another Business Manager account, it can’t be transferred. You’ll need to start from scratch.

Get help from Facebook Support

If you got to this post with specific questions of your own, it’s likely that I didn’t answer them. So I wanted to give you a couple of ways to get in touch with Facebook support. They can be helpful, but it’s not always easy to get a hold of them.

Depending on how much you spend, they have 3 ways to get in touch:

  • Chat
  • Ask the community (forum)
  • Email (uses a form)

To see which ones you can use, click this link and scroll to the bottom. That are the biggest issues that I’m running into with Facebook Business Manager.

Got different problems? Let me know in the comments!

About the author

Dennis

Dennis is the founder of Store Growers. He's an ecommerce PPC expert from Belgium and has been running Google Ads campaigns for over 8 years.

His goal is to cut through the BS when it comes to ecommerce advice and provide you with tactics and strategies that will make you more money.

Read more

47 responses to “Troubleshooting Facebook Business Manager

  1. Thanks for this! If my client sends me her FB Ads account ID, can I use it to request access through Business Manager without her also having to have a BM account? If not, then I really don’t understand! Why does the client also need a BM account, not just the agency? I’ve offered to help a friend out with her FB advertising (she’s my guinea pig before trying to find real clients). She’s not very tech savvy and will struggle to understand what BM is, let along set it up. Surely this describes many people who’d like help with their FB ads! I’m also baffled that she was able to invite me to her page as an advertiser and also to her ads account as an advertiser – neither of us had BM at the time so I wasn’t able to do anything with this. So why is the option even there? All seems very badly thought out from a user experience perspective 🙁

    1. Hey Laura,
      It seems like you’ve run into the exact mess that I’ve also seen 😛

      Here is what I think Facebook would like to see happen: everyone has Business Manager accounts:

      1. Agencies/freelancers: easily ask access and assign it to your team/collaborators
      2. Clients: Manage who has access to which accounts

      So you can try to request access to her ad account via your BM without here having one. But if that doesn’t work (for some reason) I think your only option is for your friend to set up a BM as well.

      If she can’t figure out (which is totally understandable because even for us it’s so a mess), I often just ask their FB credentials and take care of things that way.
      I know it goes against all recommendations and best practices from a security pov, but this is one of the only ways to save a lot of headaches and wasted time.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Hi Dennis,
    It seems that you might be able to help me here as well.
    Can you please advise if you can create an ad account without having a Facebook business manager? It seems that my client once had a Facebook business manager but they can no longer get access to it and they asked me to try to create an ad account without an BM, is this even possible?

    Thanks very much,
    K.

  3. Hello,

    I can’t login into Business Manager. I go to business.facebook.com and there is no login option on top right corner, just “Create Account.” I have a screenshot, if you would like to see. I was able to login before and create ads. Now for some reason I can’t,
    I am signed in to my personal account that is connected to my business page. I have also tried to go to Business Manage via my personal account. I tried different browsers; cleared cache and cookies. I am running out of options here. I have tried to contact Facebook via there community forum, asked different people and no one seems to have the answer. Facebook doesn’t even respond back. It is very frustrating.

    If anyone can help me or point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. Hi Rena,
      This sounds like a big mess indeed :/

      Questions that pops into my mind reading your comment: did you already create a Business Manager account? You mention that you ran ads before, but it is(was?) possible to run ads without a BM account..

        1. Rena, navigate to facebook.com instead to see which account you’re logged into. From here you can log out and the login button will return when navigating back to business.facebook.com. Hope this helps!

  4. Hey Dennis,

    I am having loads of issues getting ahold of Facebook. The problem I’m having is that my Pixel doesn’t show up when I try to make a conversion ad or custom audience but with the Facebook helper tool and going to the pixel menu inside of business manager I can see it there and firing. I have tried different browsers, refreshing the page and everything else I could think of to get it to show up with no luck.

    Would you recommend that I create another ad account under the same business manager for that particular business page and leave the ad account I am using now open but don’t use it?

    Or what would you recommend?

    P.s. I was so glad to find this article and also thank you so much for answering mine and others concerns!

  5. Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for your article – I’m just in need of some general advice really, and also need to rant a bit I’m afraid!

    I set up Facebook Business Manager a couple of weeks ago, added my page, ad account and team members and expected to just be able to get going with things.

    I tried to add my credit card, but the (three separate) transactions sent from Facebook to this MasterCard all show on my credit card statement as ‘failed’ I therefore tried to add PayPal as a second payment method, but I couldn’t add it, as each time I receive a message saying my payments had been suspended and to contact support.

    No big deal I thought, but when I contacted support I received messages from their risk support team telling me payments had been reactivated, when I go back and try to add, I still get the same error, so I complained that they had not been switched back on properly.

    I then received a series of emails directing me to fill out the same support form again – so I fill it in again, nothing happens and I complain again. Sometimes I get a response that seems like it has been generated by an AI support bot, other times I get a response basically saying that they are sorry for the frustration caused – but they do not provide a solution.

    Ive now got to the stage where my support requests are just closed without receiving a response. (I have sent over 30 messages so far)

    My next move was to just delete the Facebook Business Manager and start over – but guess what, when I try to delete the Business Manager, I get an error telling me that I cannot delete it (even though I have removed the page, ad account and all people) I can only assume it cannot be deleted because it is stuck in this frozen payment loop.

    It seems that there is no proper technical support service for this platform and that without being able to add a payment method the system is useless… I now can’t even delete it to start again. I will need Facebook for my business – it is absolutely essential to my success, so I don’t know what to do anymore (I’ve literally nearly been in tears of anger about it!!!) I guess you will know just how much time and effort and hope is put into creating your own venture, and things like this can just become infuriating!

    Are you able to offer any advice? I’d appreciate any comments or direction you are able to give, no matter how small.

    Best regards

    Richard

    1. Hi Richard, we are experiencing the same as you did, not being able to delete business manager with ads turned off, the page removed, and only 1 admin on it. We have a stranded credit card in it that the ads accounts couldn’t see and the business manager payment section with card in it can’t see the ad accounts and says the card is not associated with an ad account ever after I manually enter the same card information for an ad account. Did you find out how to fix it so you could delete your business manager? If so, please please share. We have to start over. THANK YOU!

  6. I set up business manager and somehow it has messed up my locations. I have one business now that no one can check in on Facdbook and somehow it also affects the corrosponding Instagram. That pages no longer shows up in locations on Facebook. But if I log in on desktop Check in seems to work only on Facebook. Facebook has been a nightmare for me past two years.

  7. Hi Dennis, here is my own particular issue. I was running a page for a client and accidently (innocently/stupidly) took ownership of the page from my own business manager. I figured out how to remove the page from my account, later started a new BM for my client and have tried to add the page to this new account. Now seem to be in some sort of limbo/waiting period— tried to add it again and it does say there is an active request. So is there anything else I can do but wait it out? Thanks very much!

    1. Hi Marc,
      That’s annoying indeed!
      Last I heard from Facebook was that once a page was linked to a BM it couldn’t be moved over.

      So if you’re saying that it’s in limbo/waiting period, I guess that has changed. ( Good for you :p)

      My suggestion would be to wait it out and if possible, try get hold of someone from Facebook to check in.

  8. Hi denis,
    the Article is super helpfull, i was wondering if you ever ran into the same issue.
    i tried deleting my facebook business manager but when i try to remove all pages it says “Please assign someone as an admin to this Page before removing it from your Business Manager”. i’m lost here.

  9. God I hate everything to do with FB and Instagram advertising. I’ve spent hours dealing with their useless “support” team. Thanks to their “help”, it appears I now have 3 registered pixels, the original one is on my Shopify store and in Business Manager > Events Manager shows activity. BUT it does not appear under Business Manager > Business Settings > Pixels, although 2 other pixels do show here (but neither have activity). Because it doesn’t appear here, I can’t assign it to an Ad Account, although within Ads Manager I can run Ads on it.

    The best part is I can link Klaviyo to Facebook accounts but then it’s not actually “authorized” so I can’t can’t do anything with it.

    However, I have found a solution that may help other people. Instead of using Facebnook advertising, I have purchased a gorilla suit and a sign. I am going to a busy street in my new suit and shake the sign at the passing traffic. I actually think, if I’d spent my time doing that, instead of dealing with Faccebook, I would have more customers.

    I would love instructions on how to delete all Facebook ad accounts, business manager accounts, pixels and then start from scratch. Until then, I’m coming to a street corner near you…

    Thank you for the opportunity to rant.

    Nick

  10. Hi Dennis

    I have a BM
    and the problem is I am unable to add the page to create ads eventhough I am the admin of the page

  11. I have a fb business account. It’s mustard seed home & Gifts. I linked it to an ad account. I keep getting notifications that my payment didn’t go through, even though I haven’t run any ads in months and they were paid. I can’t make changes or post anything because it says I’m not the admin. I am the admin though. Please help me take this out of business manager.

  12. Hey Dennis,
    I’ll apologize in advance for my ineptitude for facebook, & for the novel… it’s been quite a frustrating day.

    I’ve taken over my company’s facebook page. I’ll be using an outside firm who will help me manage facebook ads. The firm asked for access to our business manager. I figured someone before me must have set it up, but was unable to find it. So I set one up myself. I tried to give the firm access and got an error that said I had no pages or assets to share. When I tried to add my company’s fb page, I got an error saying it was another business’ primary page and unable to add.

    As the admin of our company page, my next move was to ask permission to access. That just prompted me to enter a password for our instagram account that is linked to facebook. Upon entering the correct password. It again gave the message or similar as the first, that this was already a primary business page and that I need to get with them.

    Am I missing something? Is there a business manager associated with my company’s facebook page just floating out there in the ether? By being a Business Account, which it is – does it automatically get a business manager page? A co-worker said I needed pages to access business manager- but I’m confused why (unless on mobile) I’d need an app to access an app.

    There seems to be no solid troubleshooting guide for someone who doesn’t even know IF they have a business manager account. PLEASE HELP!

    1. Hi Hayley,
      That sounds like the exact problems I was running into as well.

      Once a page (or ad account) has been linked to a Business Manager account, it can’t be moved to a different one.

      So your first task should be to try and track down that existing Business Manager account. Look and ask everyone that might have been involved with this to sign into Facebook, goto https://business.facebook.com and see if they have access.

      Then you can try to get access to that business manager account and invite the outside firm as a partner.

      Hope that helps!
      -Dennis

  13. This is just the info I needed. I manage my business and one other. Somehow when I set up biz manager she could not get into her page and fb couldn’t even find her email! She tried several. So I added her in bus manager as an admin.

    That gets her in and I made her admin. I am looking like a newbie as they asked me so now we have to go through your account to get to our page? I replied “it seems that way right now but I will look into this.”

    Now if I read your article carefully I’m still afraid I’ll do something wrong. Can I pay you to video chat and share my screen while I clean it up. My worry is that I will still do something incorrectly and possibly frustrate my client more.

    1. Hi Dan,
      Very frustrating. I’ve looked like a newbie a couple of times as well. All I wanted was to run campaigns and I was stuck trying to sort out simple access rights.

      I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you how to do this either. Facebook often changes things around and not all pages and accounts are the same.

      My only idea would be to try to create a new account with BM access that the client would use in the future?

      I’m sorry I can’t help you more.
      -Dennis

  14. Hello Dennis!

    My problem is that, when I am trying to log in to my business manager account, it says that I have to upload a picture of myself. So I did upload a picture of my face ONLY. But the message I get is ”We can’t accept this picture. Make sure it clearly shows your face and doesn’t inlcude other people”. But the thing is the picture doesn’t include other people, it’s just my face? Have you encountered this problem?

  15. Hi Dennis,
    I have a problem setting up a Business Manager account for the company where I am working. They have a Facebook page which I want to connect to a Business Manager account. I am an admin on the page but when I try to add the page into BM, it just says that “your request for access is pending”. I don’t understand why as I am an admin on the page and no one here has any idea who needs to approve this request, so we are unable to add the page to BM. Have you ever heard about anyone having this problem? How can we solve it? It’s impossible to get in touch with Facebook to get help with this. Thanks!

    1. I too have this exact problem!

      Causing a lot of issues as I need to add client accounts and I can’t until we have a primary account in business manager! Did you find any answers to this problem Emelie?

      I cannot find help anywhere, nor anyway of speaking with facebook.

  16. A google search brought me here with exactly the same query as Emelie, I’ve got the same problem at the moment. The Page owner seems to be the page itself and there’s no sign of the request.

  17. Same issue as the two people above. One of my pages added on easily – the other one (which I desperately NEED to add right now) just says pending. It says “(my name) needs to approve” but then gives me no way to approve it. FB chat for hours was useless… they suggested adding my other two coadmins, which I did. None of us can add the page on.

    1. Sarah I have the same issue – i cant add a page to my BM. Just says request pending approval. But no way for the page owner to approve it. Any luck??? Please….

  18. I was working on one FB Business account and my response grabbed the name on another account. I had them in separate browsers. This has happened more than once, have you ever seen this?

    1. Hi Jen,
      I haven’t had this happen to me with FB, some strange cookie confusion. But that shouldn’t happen because if different browsers right 🤔

  19. Thank you for the tips!
    I’m having an issue, with having multiple people added to an ad account, but not being able to properly share the ad drafts. Basically, I run a facebook page for my organization, and I want to run ads but we can’t pay via Facebook (credit cards etc. aren’t common in my country). So, I’m working with a third party so they can assist us in payment for the ads.
    I added them to the ad account, and made them an admin and gave them access to all assets, so they’re the same level as me. Ideally, I want to create the content, and select all the details for the ad, then just ask the third party to publish it and pay, by putting in their payment information etc.
    But even when I’m logged into the ad account and create an ad draft, it doesn’t show up on their end, despite them being logged into the same ad account. Same goes for when they make an ad draft on the same account. So we’re thinking I might have to manually tell them the details for what ads I want, then they create it and pay. However, this sounds like a way bigger hassle.
    I suppose they could put money into the account and maybe I could use it for creating my own ads from there, but ideally we’d like to confirm the above first. Do you have an ideas? I’d contant Facebook but I can’t because we haven’t spent money on the account yet.

    1. Hi Jane,
      I think the ad drafts are somehow created locally, on your computer or browser, before they are uploaded to Facebook’s servers. So that’s why you can’t share them in between accounts (this is the opposite of something like Gmail, where drafts are stored on the server).

      Instead of creating the ads yourself, maybe share a spreadsheet with all of the ad details?

      • Headline
      • Text
      • Link
      • Link description
      • Image/video
      • etc?
  20. I have an ecommerce store with a live domain support email website etc. I’ve tried about 20 times to create a business manager and I enter the name my name all the credentials address phone number website etc. When I click submit nothing happens no errors or prompts nothing. I have no clue what the problem is please help.

    1. Hi Jeremy,
      That sounds annoying :/
      Don’t know how to fix it but here are some things I would try:
      disable ad blockers, clear cookies and try again, try with a different browser, create a new FB profile and try to create a BM with that account, ask someone else to create the BM and add you as an admin after.

      Hope that helps!

  21. Hello,
    I have a really big problem and first of all sorry for my english.
    I had a artist page with my personnal facebook profile and everything was a ri ght.
    Then I open a Business manager account.. but I realized very fast that was not for me, then I try to delete the BM account.. and what happen, it’s that my artist page is not anymore connected with my personal profile.. looks like my artist page (i was the only admin) belong to someone else now ….HELPPPP.. I try to open a new profile, to change roles, to add page, but impossible, it seems im not anymore the owner of my original artist page I had from many years…….

    1. Hi Samia,
      Sorry to hear that 🙁

      Apart from going through the FB support (who are unlikely to help), I don’t see many other options.
      Hope you still have posting permissions though…

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