How to use Facebook Business Manager for eCommerce [Complete Guide]

April 6, 2018

Facebook Business Manager is the key to running successful Facebook ad campaigns…

But that’s not all it’s good for.

If you aren’t properly using this awesome tool with your online store, you’re missing out on:

  • Getting more of your most profitable customers (i.e. lookalike audiences)
  • Freeing up valuable time with campaigns which automatically sync up with your product pricing and inventory levels
  • And unlocking advanced targeting options which allow you to 10x your Click-Through Rate (CTR)

That’s why we wrote this complete guide on how to use Facebook Business Manager.

In it, you’ll learn everything you need to know to set up your Facebook Business Manager and run highly profitable ads.

It doesn’t matter if you’re completely new to Facebook ads or if you have no idea what a “Lookalike audience” is...

Just follow the steps below and start running ad campaigns.

You’ll become a kickass Facebook marketer in no time!

To navigate to the different sections of this article, use the links below:

Let's dive in!

What is Facebook Business Manager?

In a nutshell, Facebook Business Manager is a tool that allows you to manage your Facebook pages, ad accounts, and other business-related assets.

Is it necessary to use the Facebook Business Manager?

Not quite.

If you’re a small outfit and don’t foresee yourself needing several ad accounts, you can simply use the Facebook Ads Manager.

(You can access this by clicking the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner of your Facebook page, and clicking on “Manage Ads”.)

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Simple enough, right?

But if you plan to do any of the following...

  • Create multiple ad accounts
  • Create multiple Facebook pages
  • Give several people access to your ad account(s)

...Then it’s a lot easier to use the Facebook Business Manager instead.

With this tool, you get a bird’s eye view of all the ad accounts and Facebook pages associated with your business:

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And you can remove or assign roles to people more efficiently.

How to set up Facebook Business Manager

Hop on over to https://business.facebook.com and click on “Create Account”.

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Next, fill in your business name...

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…and do the same for your name and email address.

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Once that’s done, you’ll be redirected to the Business Manager app.

Time to assign roles and link up your assets!

Facebook Business Manager roles

Here’s how to give your employees access to your Business Manager:

First, click on the “Business Settings” button on the top right corner.

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After the page loads, the first tab that you’ll see is “People.”

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Type your employee’s name or email address into the search bar. Then, click the “Add” button!

Next, assign your employees different roles. Click the “Assign” button on the right side of the app and choose the type of asset you want to assign.

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Within each “asset”, there are different levels of access.

For instance, the Page Roles include:

  • Admin
  • Editor
  • Moderator
  • Advertiser
  • Analyst, and
  • Live contributor

With each role having different “privileges.”

Here’s a handy chart that sums it all up:

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The same goes for your ad accounts and catalogs.

Use your judgement here…

If you’re adding an employee to manage your ad campaigns, they’ll need more access than, say, an intern who will just be posting on your social media accounts.

Once that’s done, it’s time to link your Facebook page to your Business Manager!

How to add your Facebook page to Business Manager

From the same Business Settings page that you’re currently on, click on “Pages” on the left, and then the “Add” button in the center.

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If you already have an existing page, click on “Add a Page.”

If you have an existing page that’s owned by someone else, click on “Request Access to a Page.” (Seeing as you’re an eCommerce store owner and not a digital marketing agency, this is probably not the option for you).

Lastly, if you haven’t created a page for your eCommerce store yet, click on “Create a New Page.”

Follow Facebook’s instructions step by step, and you’re all set!

How to set up Facebook Ads Manager Account

The same thing applies - you have the option to:

  • Add an existing ads manager account to your business account
  • Request access to an ad account
  • Create a new ad account

To create an Ad account, click “Ad accounts” on the left, then “+Add.”

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Assuming you’re completely new to Facebook advertising, you’ll be creating your ad account from scratch.

The first step is to input your ad account name and check that your timezone and currency settings are accurate.

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Add yourself and any employees who will be managing your ads.

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You’ll see a pop-up notifying you that your ad account has been successfully created.

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Close the pop-up, then click “View payment methods” under your new ad account.

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Here’s where you can add a payment method and set a spending limit for your account (if you’d like).

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Hang in there… you’re almost done!

The last step is installing your Facebook Pixel, which we’ll go over in the next section.

How to set up Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is a snippet of code that you put in your website.

Simply put, this code keeps track of everyone who visits your website. And you should treat it as a business asset, because it evolves over time to learn your audience.

The reason this is so important is because the Pixel allows you to retarget your website visitors with Facebook ads.

You can get pretty in-depth with this and target:

  • Shoppers who added a product to their cart, but didn’t complete checkout
  • Shoppers who viewed a specific category of products
  • Shoppers who visited your website within the last 5 days

And much more.

Here’s the best part:

Statistics show that the website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to return, and convert.

If you’re using Shopify to power your store, refer to our Shopify Facebook Pixel guide to set this up in less than 5 minutes.

If your store is housed on a WordPress site, this guide by Claire Pelletreau will do the trick.

Note: The Power Editor used to be the main way to create and run your ads and campaigns. However, the ads manager has replaced this entirely and the power editor is no longer around. Just in case you've seen info about this elsewhere!

That’s it - you’re done with your setup!

How to advertise your business on Facebook 

In this section, you’ll learn about the different types of FB ads and which are the most effective for eCommerce stores.

Let’s jump right in!

Boosting posts on Facebook

The “Boost Post” function is the simplest, most pared-down way to advertise on Facebook.

Here’s how it works:

Once you’re an admin of a Facebook page, you’ll see this blue “Boost Post” button below each post on your timeline.

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You can boost articles, pictures, status updates, or cover photo updates - they’re all fair game.

Once you click on “Boost Post,” you’ll be able to do a few things, such as:

  • Edit your targeting
  • Set your budget
  • Set the duration, and
  • Preview your ad
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Pretty straightforward, right?

But while the “Boost Post” function is simple to use, it does come with limitations.

For one thing, you don’t get to choose your placements.

Here’s what I mean:

If you create your ads using the Ad Manager, you can specify where your ads are shown, including:

  • Desktop and mobile newsfeeds
  • Groups
  • Right column
  • Instant articles
  • In-stream video
  • Instagram feed
  • Instagram stories
  • Audience Network
  • Messenger

But if you use the “Boost Post” function, you’re stuck with the desktop and mobile newsfeeds.

Depending on your industry and target audience, this might not be good enough for you.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re a fashion brand who caters to teens and young adults.

These folks are more likely to use Instagram than Facebook - so it makes sense for you to advertise on Instagram.

Unfortunately, “Boost Post” doesn’t allow you to do this!

Another disadvantage of the “Boost Post” function:

You can’t optimize your Boosted Posts for different objectives.

Basically, this means the “Boost Post” function is only useful for driving likes, comments, and shares on your pre-existing posts…

...and not for achieving other goals (such as promoting click-throughs and purchases).

For these reasons, I prefer to create a proper ad campaign on Ad Manager instead of simply using “Boost Post”.

Facebook ad formats

There are plenty of options when it comes to Facebook ad formats - but not all of them are suitable for eCommerce stores. Read on to find out which you should experiment with, and which to avoid!

Dynamic ads

Okay, listen up:

Dynamic ads are arguably the most relevant ad format for eCommerce store owners.

How do they work?

Let’s say someone looks at handbags on your website, but exits without making a purchase.

If you aren’t running Dynamic ads, this shopper is as good as dead to you - you’ll probably never see them again.

But if you’re running Dynamic ads, here’s what will happen:

When they log onto Facebook and scroll through their newsfeed, they’ll see an ad from you, featuring the exact handbags they were looking at.

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They return to your store, complete their purchase, and everyone lives happily ever after!

At this point, you’re probably wondering how you set these Dynamic ads up.

I’ll walk you through the process later on - for now, just bear in mind that these are super important. If you try only one format of ads, this should be it!

Image ads

Image ads (or what some people call banner ads) are pretty old-school, but they can still be effective.

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When using this format, there’s one thing to keep in mind:

If your images consist of more than 20% text, Facebook will restrict its delivery.

Why?

Because ads with too much text may create “a lower-quality experience for people on Facebook.”

This means that less people will see your ad, and you’ll be charged more for the people who do get to see your ad :(

To stay in Facebook’s good books, use this tool to check your image before you create your ad.

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If the tool deems your Image Text “OK,” you’re in the clear.

If the result is “Low”, “Medium”, or “High,” go back to the drawing board, and reduce the amount of space your text takes up.

Check out this guide to creating killer Facebook ad images for more help!

Carousel ads

Next up, we have carousel ads, which are ads comprising of up to 10 images or videos.

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Each card comes with its own link, although you can choose to use the same link across all the cards in your ad.

With Carousel ads, you have more room to showcase your products (or your brand!).

There are multiple ways to use these ads:

You can use them to promote your latest collection, with each card featuring a different product that just launched.

Or use it to promote a best-selling item, with each card featuring pictures of happy customers.

(This works well with fashion items - it provides social proof AND gives your customers styling inspiration!)

One thing to take note of when creating Carousel ads:

If your ad showcases different products, and it doesn’t matter which comes first, tick the box that says “Automatically show the best performing cards first.”

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These “best performing cards” refer to the cards that are the most likely to be clicked.

But if there’s a storyline to your Carousel ad, and it needs to be shown in chronological order, leave this box unticked!

Video ads

Video ads take more effort to produce, but they’re often more cost-effective.

Founder of Aspiro Agency, Damon Gochneaur, is a huge fan of video ads.

He says that his video campaigns tend to have a Cost Per Click (CPC) of anywhere from $0.15 to $0.50 (while his single image campaigns cost him $2.00 or more per click).

If you’d like to experiment with video ads, here are some content ideas:

  • Show behind the scenes footage at your office
  • Create a product demonstration video
  • Send your product to an influencer, and have them create a “haul” or “unboxing” video

Regardless of what type of content you’re going with, keep these two things in mind:

First, add captions to all your Video ads.

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, and captions will hold your viewer’s interest.

Secondly, include a clear Call-To-Action (CTA) in your Video ads.

This will jolt your viewers into taking action and increase your conversion rates.

Slideshow ads

If you like the sound of Video ads, but feel a little intimidated by them, then Slideshow ads might be more up your alley.

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All you gotta do is:

  • Upload a few photos (or choose from the stock images provided)
  • Tweak your settings (including image ratio, image duration, transition preference, audio and thumbnail)
  • Add text overlays

And you’re good to go!

Pro Tip: There’s also an option to create a Slideshow ad using an existing video - but if you’re working with a tight budget, it’s definitely cheaper to build your ad out of photos.

Canvas ads

At first glance, a Canvas ad doesn’t seem any different from your typical newsfeed ad...

...but when you tap on the ad, it opens up to envelop the entire mobile screen.

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You can combine videos, photos, GIFs, and CTA buttons within a single Canvas ad, and it essentially feels like an interactive microsite.

Here’s the cool part:

Since this “microsite” is hosted entirely on Facebook, it loads up to ten times faster than standard mobile websites.

And according to Facebook:

53% of users who open a Canvas ad view at least half of it, with the average view time per ad being 31 seconds. Impressive.

That’s not to say that Canvas ads don’t come with a downside, though.

While Canvas ads are great for branding and storytelling, you can’t highlight shoppable products with these ads.

This makes them less relevant for eCommerce store owners, but don’t write them off completely… you can still use them together with Collection ads, which I’ll talk about next.

Collection ads

Here’s how collection ads work:

There’s a video or image up top, with a set of four products displayed below.

Once shoppers click on a collection ad, they’ll be taken to Canvas.

The Canvas ad will feature up to 50 products - as mentioned earlier, it fills your entire screen and sits within Facebook.

Once the shopper clicks on a product, the ad redirects to the merchant’s website, and the shopper is free to make their purchase!

While Collection ads are relatively new, many brands jumped on the bandwagon right away, including Adidas:

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According to Facebook, Adidas’s first Collection ads campaign saw a 5.3x return on ad spend… not too shabby!

Offer ads

Everyone loves a good deal - so why not tempt your shoppers into a purchase using Offer ads?

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These are pretty simple to work with.

Decide on what your offer will be, how long it’ll last, and how many people can claim it - then edit the template accordingly.

Assuming you’re an eCommerce store with zero physical presence, make sure you specify that the offer is only available online.

You’ll also need to input a URL - so your shoppers know where to redeem your offer.

A few things to take note of:

First, your Facebook page needs to have a minimum of 400 Likes before you’re eligible to post an offer.

Secondly, don’t skimp on your offer and discounts.

A measly 5% off just isn’t enticing - according to Facebook, you’ll get the best results if you offer at least 20% off, or if you offer free items with a purchase.

Thirdly, Offer ads are best used with a Custom audience.

Here’s why:

With Offer ads, the bulk of the emphasis is placed on the offer - and your shopper doesn’t really get acquainted with your brand.

Because of this, Offer ads might not be the best at driving purchases from shoppers who are completely new to your brand.

But don’t sweat it… there’s a way to work around this.

Just use a Custom audience to retarget people who are already familiar with your brand. (I’ll teach you how to do this in a bit!)

Before we move on, one last tip about Offer ads:

Don’t have your offer expire too soon.

It takes a bit of time for people to notice your Offer ad and (hopefully!) tag their friends - so don’t shoot yourself in the foot by setting an early expiration.

Pro Tip: Facebook will notify every person who claims your offer when the deal is about to expire. You don’t need to worry about them claiming and then forgetting about your offer!

Other ads

Other than the formats we covered above, there are also Lead ads, Page Post Engagement, Business Page Promotions, and Event Response Ads.

These aren’t as useful for driving sales for eCommerce stores, so I’ll just run through them briefly.

Firstly, B2B companies typically use Lead ads to generate leads, although you can also grow your newsletter subscribers using these ads.

Secondly, with Page Post Engagements, the goal is to get shoppers to interact with your ad (by Liking, Sharing, or Commenting).

Thirdly, I don’t recommend that eCommerce store owners waste their money on Business Page Promotions - unless you’ve got cash to burn. This basically just buys you page Likes.

Last but not least, you might find the Event Response Ads useful if you intend to run a pop-up store or some type of event… but if you’re strictly based online, then forget about it.

Whew, we’re finally done with the different Facebook ad types!

Let’s move on to discuss how to retarget shoppers. As an eCommerce store owner, this will be your bread and butter, so pay close attention to this section!

Retargeting shoppers on Facebook

We’ve talked about cart abandonment a little, but it’s now time to go into greater detail.

Get this: on average, 69% of online carts are abandoned by shoppers.

Doesn’t that number make you die a little on the inside? :(

Let’s assume you started your eCommerce store a few months back, and you earn $2000 a month now.

If we attribute this $2000 to the 31% of your shoppers who don’t abandon their carts, you should really earn $6,400+ per month.

That’s three times the amount you’re making today.

Of course, $6,400+ represents an ideal scenario - and in real life, there’s no way you can completely eliminate abandoned carts

But what you can do is to retarget your shoppers on Facebook and prompt them to return to your website and complete their purchase. (If you’ll recall, earlier in the article, I mentioned that website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to return, and convert.)

There’s no doubt that retargeting is super powerful - so let’s talk about how you can retarget shoppers on Facebook.

This might be a little confusing, so I’ll break it down for you:

First, you can also create Dynamic ads to retarget your shoppers.

When you set up your Dynamic ads, you’ll get to choose from a few options, including:

  • Retargeting shoppers who have viewed or added to cart but not purchased
  • Retargeting shoppers who have added to cart but not purchased
  • Upselling products
  • Cross-selling products, and
  • A combination of the above.

But take note: this is the only format of ads that allows you to retarget without using a Custom audience.

Again, retargeting is the most profitable type of advertising for eCommerce stores, so if you’re planning to run Dynamic ads right off the bat, that’s great.

But if you want to try the other ad formats, use a Custom audience on top of them so that you can retarget shoppers.

Got it? Great!

Let’s move on and learn how to create a Custom audience.

How to create a Custom Audience
Access your Business Manager, click on the hamburger button on the top left corner, and click on “Audiences” from the drop-down list.

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Next, click on “Create a Custom Audience.”

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There are a few ways to do this, but most eCommerce store owners opt to use a customer file or website traffic.

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If your store is pretty established and you have a big pool of newsletter subscribers, click on “Customer file.”

From there, you can either import email address directly from MailChimp, or upload your own file of email addresses.

If your eCommerce store is relatively new and you don’t have a lot of subscribers, it’ll make more sense to create a Custom audience using website traffic.

Click on the “Website traffic” option...

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...then expand the menu and choose “AddToCart.”

Depending on what type of items you’re selling, you might also want to increase the recency window (set to 30 days by default).

If you’re selling big-ticket, luxury items, your customers might take some time to research their options before making a purchase, which means that your sales may only come in after 30 days.

For a more detailed explanation, check out this article by Neil Patel (hit Ctrl+F and search for “recency window” to jump straight to that section).

Once you’ve decided on your recency window, name your Custom audience, and click “Create Audience.”

Need some inspiration?

This article by Stateofdigital.com talks about how you can use Custom audiences to enhance your email marketing, generate survey responses, generate competition entries, and more!

How to create a Lookalike Audience

Before we get into how to create Dynamic ads, let’s talk about Lookalike audiences as well.

Let’s say you have a Custom audience of people who visited your eCommerce store, and added a product to their cart.

The campaigns you create to target these people will (probably!) be highly profitable to start off with…

...but after some time, you’ll milk this audience dry, and your conversions will drop.

That’s where Lookalike audiences comes in.

With this tool, you can identify new shoppers similar to your existing ones.

Like what you did earlier, click on the “Audiences” tab from the drop-down menu in Business Manager, and then click on “Create a lookalike audience.”

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Next, specify which Custom Audience you’d like Facebook to base your new Lookalike audience off.

Then, choose the location you want to target.

And decide on your audience size. (1% gives you a Lookalike audience that is highly similar to your Custom audience, but the downside is that your audience size is smaller).

Click on “Create Audience”, and you’re done!

Pro Tip: Just so we’re clear, your Lookalike audience is made up of people who haven’t visited your site, so it’s technically not retargeting. But many eCommerce store owners find that Lookalike audiences boost the profitability of ad campaigns - that’s why I’m including it in this guide!

How to create Facebook Dynamic Ads

Okay, on to the last part of the puzzle - Dynamic ads.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create these ads:

First, create and upload your product catalog, so that you can feature your products on the ads.

From the same menu you used earlier, click on “Catalogs.”

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Then click on “Create Catalog”.

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From there, select “E-commerce”, and follow through with each step.

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On top of this, you’ll also need to add your product feed. (For a detailed guide, click here).

This is where the magic happens:

Your product feed syncs with your catalog and ensures your ads are always updated.

In other words, once you set up your campaign, you won’t need to go back and tweak any of the settings.

If you change the price of an item of your eCommerce store, your ad will update itself to reflect the new pricing.

If the item goes out of stock, your ad will update itself and feature another product instead.

Is that cool, or what?

Pro Tip: Be sure to choose “Scheduled Recurring Uploads” instead of “Single Upload” - this allows your feed to automatically update at scheduled intervals.

Now that you’ve got your product catalog and product feed sorted out, it’s time to create your first Dynamic ad!

This video by Pixelyoursite.com is a nice step-by-step guide.

Hang in there - we’re nearly done!

Let’s move onto the last section of this guide, which deals with how to fix your Facebook ads that aren’t approved.

What to do if you get the “Facebook ads not approved” notification

There are literally hundreds of reasons why your ads might not be approved - these are all explained in Facebook’s Advertising Policies.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to wade through that wall of text.

If Facebook doesn’t approve your ad, they’ll send you an email that explains exactly why. Refer to this and edit your ad to rectify the problem.

In the unlikely event that you comply with all of Facebook’s policies, and your ad still isn’t approved, here’s what you can do:

Click on the link to appeal (which you’ll find in your Ad Manager), key in the relevant details, and submit your appeal.

Most appeals get answered and/or resolved within 24 hours, so you won’t need to wait too long!

A final word on how to use the Facebook Business Manager

Give yourself a pat on the back - you’ve earned it!

You now know pretty much everything about the Facebook Business Manager.

Now comes the hard part: Actually setting up your ad account and running your first campaign.

I know, I know, there’s so much inertia involved - but I’m going to knock out all those niggling doubts in your head, one by one.

If you feel too overwhelmed to even get started, think about it this way: You don’t have a choice.

It’s either do this, or watch as your eCommerce store’s profits stagnate.

And if you think your marketing budget is too small, check this out:

This guy spent $194 on Facebook advertising and turned it into $100,000 worth of sales.

Take my word for it. You’re missing out, big-time, if you don’t run Facebook ads for your eCommerce store.

So take the first step today, and I’ll see you on the other side!

If you liked this article, please share it with your entrepreneur friends!

Further Learning:

Bill Widmer

Written by Bill Widmer

Bill is an eCommerce content marketing and SEO consultant. He's run several stores and worked with many well-known brands including A Better Lemonade Stand, SaleHoo, and Lifehack.

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