By Dennis Last update August 11, 2017 Comments: 12

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.
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

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.


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 is the main guy behind Store Growers. He's never had a job that he didn't invent himself and loves that freedom.
In writing articles, creating courses or working with ecommerce clients he has one goal: to create more freedom for online store owners.

12 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,

  3. Hello,

    I can’t login into Business Manager. I go to 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..

  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


  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.

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