Meta Business Suite is a new user interface for managing aspects of your business on the various platforms owned by Meta, such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Through Business Suite, you can manage your Inbox and messaging for all platforms, view notifications, create posts and stories, schedule posts and stories to be published at a later date, create ads, and see insights (meaning data on past activity, results, the makeup of your audience, and feedback). Besides being an interface that can be accessed with a desktop computer on the web, Meta Business Suite is also an app available on IOS and Android for managing a business through your mobile device. (This app replaced the Facebook Pages app that was formerly available.)
Those of you who’ve been using Facebook for business in the past know that it can often feel like an endless maze of tools and admin panels. The notion that there could be a central dashboard – or at least a logical starting point – for most tasks is a long overdue one. Business Suite is intended to serve that purpose. Of course, there is still an overwhelming number of tools, of which Business Suite is now yet another. But I believe it will serve as a gamechanger for helping business owners manage their businesses on Meta platforms with greater ease and with much less confusion.
What is the Meta “Business Account” structure?
Business Suite is a tool for managing your “business account” on Meta, which alone is a complicated subject. Of all the confusing things about Facebook, the concept of a business account is one of the hardest to grasp. To get a proper explanation, read my article What is the “Business Account” Structure in Facebook/Meta.
Getting started with Meta Business Suite
To find Business Suite, go to www.Business.Facebook.com. That should take you directly there – although it’s possible that it won’t. (Long story, but changes are rolled out sporadically sometimes.) Look for the page to say “Meta Business Suite” on the top-left. If that URL doesn’t take you there, go to your Facebook business page and look for a link to Meta Business Suite. You should be able to find one in the Create a Post area or in the list of Settings. (If you don’t see it, it’s possible that it hasn’t been added to your account yet.)
Business Suite has a Home screen that’s very useful in providing easy access to common tasks, important data, and links to key features of your business. There is an easy navigation menu in the left panel that helps you jump around quickly to various functions.
The Home screen is a user-friendly layout of important features. First of all, there is a handy link to your Facebook Page at the top, under the business name, in case you want to jump there to do some Page management. Right below that are links for three things you might want to do to gain exposure — create a post, create a story, and promote (meaning to create an ad).
Next is a section called the “To-do” list, which lists recent comments you can respond to, leads you can follow up with, and tasks to be completed. (Tasks can be added here and seen by others on your team who manage your business.)
Next, there are sections that show your most recent posts and stories, along with some metrics about how much engagement they’ve received.
Next is a Planner section which shows info related to posts or stories you’ve scheduled to be published at a future time.
Next is an Audience Growth section, encouraging you to invite people to like your business page. This includes your Facebook friends and also people who have recently reacted to one of your Page posts.
Several other sections appear on the Home page, such as an Insights section, Goals section (a feature that allows you to set goals and track progress), and a way to schedule a call with a Facebook employee for tips and advice.
Clicking on Notifications will display a list of all recent notifications related to your business. This list might include activity related to your Facebook Page, Instagram account, or advertising.
The Inbox screen is one of the most important parts of Meta Business Suite, as it displays all incoming and outgoing messages related to your business. You can use the All Messages tab to see messages from all Meta tools at once, or you can decide to manage by individual platform. There are tabs for Messenger, Instagram Direct, Facebook comments, Instagram comments, and the Messenger Chat plugin.
As you communicate with others, you’ll see a panel on the right that gives general information about them pulled from their profile on Facebook.
Posts & Stories
The Posts & Stories screen displays a list of your recent posts and stories, along with engagement data, such as the number of people who were reached, the number of post engagements, and more. You have the option to customize the data columns to see the metrics that are most important to you. There are tabs on the top of the page to see posts that have already been published, are currently scheduled to be published, or are drafts. There is also a left navigation menu where you can choose to see posts only, stories only, your Page feed, photos you’ve added, and mentions and tags of your Page.
The Planner screen is your calendar of posts. You can choose to see all types of content, posts only, stories only, or ads only. You can also choose to view by Instagram or Facebook only. The Planner also offers information about upcoming holidays you might want to mention in your posting schedule.
The Ads screen shows data related to recent ads that have been run. It also has a “Create Ad” button that will initiate the ad creation process through Ad Center, as opposed to Ads Manager. (Ad Center is the ad tool that’s built into Facebook Pages.)
On the Insights Screen, there are five sub-tabs:
Overview — Here you’ll see the most basic numbers related to Page reach, content reach, and Page audience.
Results — This tab shows numbers related to Page reach and Page visits, but also gives segmented numbers related to ad-generated traffic only.
Content — This tab shows your recent ads, posts, and stories, along with result metrics.
Audience — Here you can see age and gender breakdowns for your Page followers, as well as which cities and countries they come from. You can also switch to a “Potential audience” section to see broad numbers of Facebook and Instagram users. Using the filter, you can look at segments by choosing specific locations, ages, gender, interests, and languages. You can also choose to save that filtered audience to be used for ad targeting in Ads Manager.
Feedback — In the messaging screen of Meta Business Suite, you can choose to ask for feedback from all of those with whom you’re in communication. This feedback will not be publicly seen but can be viewed here to inform you about what improvements could be made.
All Tools is a menu of all tools you might need related to Meta Platforms for your business. Some of the links include:
- Page settings
- File Manager
- Business Apps
- Creator Studio
- Events Manager
- Instant Forms
- Leads Center
- Ads Reporting
There is an Edit button just below the All Tools menu link. Here you can customize which links appear in the main navigation of Meta Business Suite — i.e., the left-panel menu. You can select up to six tools beyond the three mandatory options — Home, Notifications and All tools. For example, would you rather have the default Ads link or replace it with a link to Ads Manager? If you use Events Manager often, perhaps you’d like to add that to the main menu. Etc.
Clicking on the cogwheel icon on the bottom left in Meta Business Suite will take you to Business Settings. This area focuses primarily on two areas: Controlling access to business assets and ad account billing. To those of you who became familiar with the Business Manager settings over the past many years, you’ll find this area familiar. Access can be granted to employees or agency partners of Pages, ad accounts, pixels, catalogs, custom conversions, and more through the Business Settings.
Switch Back to Business Manager?
Meta Business Suite is designed to be the starting point for anything you might want to do related to your business on Meta platforms. That’s why going to this link should take you directly to its Home screen — https://business.facebook.com/. Formerly, that link would have taken you to the front end of Business Manager (which has always been highly lacking in usefulness). At the time of this writing, however, you have the option to continue having the front end of Business Manager as your starting point when going to this link — https://business.facebook.com/. If you currently go to Meta Business Suite from that link but want to switch, click the “Give Feedback” link in the bottom left of Meta Business Suite. Then click, “Switch to Business Manager.” Then you’ll no longer be directed to Meta Business Suite when going to https://business.facebook.com/.
Facebook/Meta has built an incredible suite of tools that businesses can use to manage their exposure and communication. When considering their power and versatility, it’s hard not to be impressed. Especially considering that they are all free of charge (minus ad spend, which is not a requirement). The problem is that the tools have been spread out in a dizzying maze. Even high-level experts get lost or confused on a regular basis! Meta Business Suite is a direct answer to this problem, providing a first-stop, user-friendly interface to all business-related features. It’s a huge step forward for both business owners and Meta. If only they had thought of this sooner!
Google vs. Meta Webinar on April 26, 7 pm
Wednesday, April 26th, 7 pm
Webinar on Zoom -- free
Subject: Google vs. Meta for Marketing