Best practice for working with an ad agency

Get the most from your relationship with your ad agency

Emerson Osmond avatar
Written by Emerson Osmond
Updated over a week ago

Warning: if your agency owns your ad account, you don't own your audience... Do you use an external agency to run your paid social on Facebook and Instagram while focusing on organic content? If you do, ensure your agency is set up to work for you and avoid the pitfall of not owning your ad audiences.

Many users tell us, "We have a paid agency, so they run our ads on Facebook and Instagram". I say, "Great, are they running these ads from your own Facebook ad account that you have full visibility of?" 9 out of 10 times, I get a long pause followed by, "Err, no, they are using their ad account, and they just send us a report". In a world where the audience you are busy cultivating is crucial to the success of your business, this answer always sends up red flags.
If your agency owns the Facebook Business Manager and the ad account within it, YOU do not own any of the audiences that are being created and used for your campaigns. If you were to part with your agency and they refuse or cannot assign you ownership to these assets, you have, in effect, lost access to these audiences. So, it's best to start or ensure your relationship with your paid agency is set up for success!

So, what does a good agency-to-business setup look like? You create your own Ads manager account within your own Facebook Business manager account. You then, within the business settings of the Business manager, assign access to your agency as a Partner. You can assign partner status to your Facebook and Instagram pages, Pixel, ad account, and product catalogues all from within your Facebook Business manager.

This means you retain full control of ALL your Facebook assets. If you were to part company with the agency, you would simply remove/revoke their Partner status to your Facebook Business manager and assign the new agency to the assets.

Common scenarios I see and how you can still use Maybe* whilst you address them:

  1. Your agency creates an ad manager account for you in their business manager and has access to your Facebook and Instagram pages. Then, the agency only reports to your campaign results. This equates to your business having no control of the ad account or Business Manager it is within. In this example, you would have to invite one of the agency team members into Maybe* to connect Facebook and your ads account. Note that in this scenario, you do not then have any control of the audiences as they reside within the agency account.

  2. Your agency uses a shared Ad Manager account to publish ads on your behalf and their other clients. Your agency then reports campaign results to you. In this situation, Maybe* has built the keyword tool so that when the Facebook ads manager is set up, the agency could then name each Campaign with a keyword and add that keyword to Maybe*, and then only the campaigns with the keyword would pull through to Maybe*. This is a bad setup by the agency, but it exists often. You have no control over their Ads manager or Business manager. To connect to Maybe* in this example, you would have to invite one of the agency teams into Maybe* to make the Facebook connection in full and ensure they add the correct keyword they use in their campaigns. So that you know, you do not have any control over the audiences as they live within the agency account.

When connecting to Facebook/Instagram to Maybe*, ensure the person doing this has full access and permissions (usually at the admin level) to the following assets.

  1. Your Facebook page

    1. Your Instagram business page should be associated with this Facebook page

  2. Your Facebook Business Manager

  3. Your Facebook Ads Account

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