If you were managing pages on Facebook before Feb. 16, you're undoubtedly aware of Facebook's Business Manager tool. I say undoubtedly because as of that date you had to either have migrated your old 'gray page' account over or start fresh by setting up a Business Manager page once your old account got shut down.
The tool launched early last year, so there was plenty of warning that is was happening even if the warnings weren't as pronounced as they could have been. Now we're here, and the changes are in full effect. That's good in some ways, but really horrible in others.
If you were managing several or more pages - for your own business or as an agency for others - the change has some definite advantages. It allows you to use a single login while keeping your personal Facebook information completely separate from the business side of things.
It also gives you a single hub for managing multiple pages, adding team members and assigning them the permissions that each needs for their responsibilities, and managing ad accounts.
If you're working as an agency and take on a new client, it's also easier now for them to give you access to their page for you to handle. You simply request access through your Business Manager page and they grant it, and viola! - you're in business.
Sounds really great so far, right? That's because we haven't gone over the cons yet.
First let's start with the elephant in the room. Even if we assume that the tool works perfectly and brilliantly - which is doesn't, as we will see - it's still only a decent tool for managing Facebook pages for agencies. Now, if you're a social media agency, how many of your clients would you recommend only use Facebook and no other platforms. If you have any idea what you're doing, the answer is obviously zero.
That means you still have to use a separate tool to manage accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, or wherever your clients' accounts are. Multiple tools means more time and less efficiency, and that's not exactly something to strive for in a business.
If you have to set your Business Manager page up from scratch, it's a little time consuming. Not overly cumbersome, but cumbersome nonetheless. Another piece of the equation which is inane is that any ad accounts added to Business Manager stay there - forever. As of now, there's no way to remove an ad account once it's added, which makes less than zero sense.
As of now (and from past experience this is unlikely to change), you can't schedule shared posts either. If you want to share a post from another page, you have to do it in real time. Again, not really an effective way to manage accounts for clients. You also can't comment on Page reviews from it. Another major fail.
Possibly the worst part is that it seems to have been rushed out, even though it's been available for almost a year. There are bug reports from across the web, ranging from loss of admin rights (yikes!) to the complete loss of Pages and/or ad accounts (double yikes!). And we're supposed to get excited about Facebook for Business becoming a LinkedIn competitor?
The Better Alternative
It's possible that Facebook might get all of these issues worked out in the future, but what if that takes many months or never happens? Are you going to risk losing business on that gamble?
Instead of confining your agency to a one-dimensional tool that works halfway and could possibly erase your access to a page or erase the page itself, you should get a high quality, cross-platform social media dashboard to handle your business. Post to all your networks from one place, handle numerous business accounts from a single interface, schedule whatever posts you like out into infinity, and even handle adding graphics as you compose your post. Now that's efficiency.
Settling for an inferior tool because it's free is always a bad business decision. Would you want your fire department to show up when your home's on fire with a $20 yard hose? Me neither.