Yesterday, Facebook launched a new feature in its Ads Manager called “Account Groups”. It allows advertising agencies to aggregate the Facebook Ads accounts of multiple users so they can be accessed simultaneously by any member of an Account Group.
The feature reduces friction and improves security in ad account management, relieving multiple agency employees or brand representatives from having to share a single account or distribute the passwords for several accounts. This will facilitate cooperation between multiple ad executives on complex campaigns, which could lead to better campaign performance and the subsequent shift of more ad dollars to Facebook.
Facebook has been working to improve the ad management experience for teams. Last year it began allowing advertising-specific business accounts to be shard by multiple personal accounts, and brought a multiple ad account dashboard to the Ad Manager.
As game developers are big advertisers on the site who often work with agencies, Facebook began allowing developers to list advertising accounts that can target their users. Third-party Facebook Ads API tool provider are also supporting team management, agencies, with AdParlor designing a tool called Pulse specifically for agencies. Some might consider Account Groups an encroachment on the territory of Facebook Ads API tool and service developers, but similar to Facebook’s new ads Power Editor, this feature is more about streamlined accessibility options than serious performance optimization.
Facebook has released an “Account Groups How-To Guide” .pdf that walks through how to set up and manage the new feature. When advertisers enter the Ad Manager and set their Account to “All Accounts” in the left hand navigation menu, they’ll see a bookmark for Account Groups. This allows them to create and name a group, select ads accounts to be accessed by the group, and add or Facebook friends or Facebook accounts linked to an entered email address as group members.
Members of the group can be set as administrators, general users, be given access to reports only, or be removed from the group. Newly-added members must confirm their invite from within the Account Groups section of their own Ad Manager. Once a group is set up, members can select it from the Accounts drop-down of the Ad Manager, and see all the campaigns of all the accounts which have been added. Note all of a member’s ad accounts are accessible — just those that have been added on the Account Groups settings page are.
Facebook could do more to ensure responsible use of Account Groups. Similar to how Facebook’s user-facing personal Groups feature lists who added new group members or changed a group’s settings, an activity feed for Account Groups could promote accountability. It’d be useful to know who admitted new members to an Account Group, or activated or paused campaign such that unapproved actions could be nullified and their authors could be reprimanded.
Still, this design evolution of the old shared business accounts system should make it easier for agency teams to manage a client’s various campaigns around the clock, and smooth transitions when employees leave or a advertising project changes.