Facebook Business Suite was launched on September 17th. Today I received an email that called me to try it out and decided to see what was it about. As I was using other tools for scheduling my posts, reviewing analytics, and other things, I wasn’t expecting too much. Maybe because I wasn’t delighted pretty much by anything that Facebook ever did, but this is the tool that really could be a handful. Just after a few improvements I hope they will do.
So, Facebook Business Suite is conceived as a platform that unites the tools and your pages/profiles all in one place. That works for Facebook Pages and Instagram business accounts. The tools that are currently available to business owners are posting, scheduling, messaging, insights, and advertising.
What is Facebook Business Suite?
Facebook explained launching with the words:
Research tells us that business owners want to better operate across Facebook’s apps, but are busy running their businesses. With Business Suite, you can manage all your activities in one place, giving you time back to focus on other aspects of your business.
Every business owner, marketer, or manager who runs more than one social media account knows that is completely true. Without the help of tools, managing everything is next to impossible. So, let’s take a look at what Facebook Business Suite has to offer.
To access Facebook Business Suite, you need to log in with the account associated with your business. You can directly access to Suite HERE, and you will see the interface like the one in the photo below.
If you used the Pages Manager app you will automatically be asked to switch. If you didn’t, you can now download the Facebook Business Suite app at iOS or Android app stores.
As you can see, at your first login, it will ask you to confirm that you are the owner of your Instagram account, if you previously connected it with your Facebook page. If you didn’t, you will need to do it to have access to it here, if you wish to compare and see the results. This is optionable, and you can only use it for Facebook pages, but it’ll be easier for you to eventually manage ads from here so I would recommend connecting them.
So, whenever you log in you will see the dashboard with your most important data: alerts, new messages and comments, and other activities that need your attention first. I will dare to say this is very smart because you can prioritize things. You will also see a few of your recent ads and a few of your recent posts, and engagement related to them.
When you click on the “Activity” tab, you will see the latest activity on your accounts, such as likes and comments. You can scroll down and see what was happening up to 6 weeks ago, but this section is conceived to have a fast glance at what was happening while you were “gone”.
Managing your inbox and comments
Your inbox is supporting:
- messages sent to your Facebook Page
- messages sent to your Instagram DM
- comments from your Facebook Page
- comments from your Instagram account
As I was trying to indicate the significance of the social media customer service in my previous post, this section of Facebook Business Suite is another part I truly like. It is very clear to have all messages in one place. The ones you didn’t see are highlighted, so you can easily scroll through the list and check if you missed anything.
Here you can also set your automated responses.
It is possible to set automated messages for different occasions, such as instant reply, away message, appointment reminders, etc. instant reply is a great thing to mess with algorithms and shorten your response time. But you should keep in mind that it can easily happen that you miss someone’s message. If an instant reply is sent, the message will not be highlighted (in case that a person doesn’t answer again, but just waits for you to reach him/her). If you get a lot of notifications, you can easily overlook it.
Facebook Business Suite posting and scheduling
Under the tab “posts” you will find all of your latest posts. You can customize the columns you would like to see or change the preview. It can be shown as a list, feed, or grid.
You can also choose to take a look at just Facebook or just Instagram content. The time section is changeable, too. You can choose between “lifetime”, “yesterday”, “last 7 days”, “last 14 days” or “last 28 days”. It is more clearer that looking at this data on Instagram e.g. where you have to click on each post to see the data. But what would be very useful is to have an option to enter a custom time period. For marketers, who are generating their reports on a monthly basis, this tool is not a big help.
On the other hand, scheduling can work well.
If you want to insert a link, you will need to uncheck Instagram from the publishing options, because it doesn’t support links. Also, you can set “emotions” and “activities” for Facebook Page posts. You can add the location for both Instagram and Facebook, video or photo, and – of course – text. When you finish editing your post, you can click “publish, or a little arrow in the lower right corner to set the scheduling date.
The “Insights” tab is showing you insights on reach, engagement, and post performance across Facebook and Instagram. You can see what’s working with customers and optimize your efforts for each platform. You can view all data that is available at your page and account, but you can also compare it. That is very useful if you want to discover and/or choose whether to use both Instagram and Facebook.
Facebook can take on almost every kind of business, and you can find your audience there no matter what you do. Instagram is a predominantly visual network and it’s not working for everything. This year there were some attempts to write long captions and move Instagram in another direction. But let’s be honest, no one is reading those. We just scroll through the photos and videos, and this is what can catch us. So, if you add an inability to post links and other flaws of Instagram, it is not the first network choice for social media agencies.
If you want to find out more on how to decide which networks work for your business, and which don’t, you can read our post about it here.
You can also see top cities and countries for your audience, and you can export all of these files. For the insights, you can actually choose custom dates, from when to when you want to see the data.
I had some problems with connecting the Instagram account with Facebook Business Suite. For some accounts, it goes smoothly, for some not so. That, and a little more other improvements and this tool could work pretty well.
Will it ever replace the automation tools? I doubt it. Suite still doesn’t have not one option for easier searching for a targeted audience, and that is what most of the brands are struggling with. That is why they reach for automation tools, mostly.
So, my verdict is: partly useful, but not number one definitely.