Meta Ads: Steps to take before you start your first campaign

Akvile DeFazio
January 12th, 2021
Akvile DeFazio

Meta offers both major brands and small businesses unparalleled advertising opportunities across Facebook and Instagram. The platform’s sophisticated targeting capabilities, easy to use creative tools, metrics, and audience reach gives businesses of all types a competitive edge, helping them find new audiences and deepen their relationships with existing customers.

Brands that advertise on Meta (Facebook and Instagram) are able to access an entire suite of tools to implement and run campaigns – all from a single advertising hub and all tailored to fit their advertising budget. But, if you’re new to the ad platform, there are a few important steps you must take before you launch a Facebook or Instagram ad campaign.

Updated: July 13, 2023

To keep first-time advertisers on track and organized, we put together the following 11-Step Guide for brands, agencies and even one-person marketing teams responsible for running their company’s social ad campaigns.

1. Set up your Meta Business Account

While you can run Facebook and Instagram ads directly in an Ad Account, we recommend setting up a free Business Suite Account.

Business Manager will be where you store your business-related Facebook and Instagram assets. You will also be able to schedule, publish and manage your company’s organic posts and create ads for Facebook and Instagram. Your Business Account Manager gives you access to all of your instant messages from customers that come via Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages in one place, as well as notifications, alerts and activity reports for your account.

Because Facebook Business Accounts are non-transferable, it is best that they are set up by an internal employee (e.g. CEO, Owner, high level manager, etc) so that your company has access to it. We highly advise against anyone outside of your company to set it up on your behalf. Allow specialists, contractors, and agencies to guide you, but we believe your organization should own its assets and accounts.

Before you set up and begin to spend money on ads, it’s best to first have a website so you can people to it, rather than other social accounts and platforms that you do not own. This will make your advertising efforts much more effective and open your business to more growth opportunities and success.

You can set up your Meta Business Account Manager here:

2. Connect your existing Facebook Business Page and Ads Manager Account to your Business Account Manager

If your business does not have a Facebook Page, you’ll need to create one. Once you have a Facebook Page, you’ll need to connect it and your Ads Manager to your Facebook Business Account.

Connecting your Facebook Page
Before you can connect your Page to your Business Manager, you’ll need to make sure it is your “primary” Facebook Page. You also must have been the admin for the Page for at least seven days. (If you are not the admin, you’ll have to request access to the Page and then wait seven days before adding it to your Business Account.)

Once you know for sure that the Page you are connecting is your primary page and that you are the admin, you can add the Page by accessing “Business Settings” from the Business Manager by clicking the gear icon in your sidebar on the homepage. In the Business Assets section, click “Accounts” and then click “Pages” — from here click “Add” in the dropdown menu. Select “Add a Page” and enter the URL for your Facebook Page and then click “Add Page” to confirm.

After following these steps, you should be able to see your Page on the next screen — from here, you can add people who should have access to manage your Page.

Connecting your Ads Manager Account
Connecting your Ads Manager Account to your Business Manager is a slightly different process. There are three ways you can add a Facebook Ad Account to a Business Account: By adding an Ad Account; by requesting access to an Ad Account or by creating another, new Ad Account within the Business Manager. (Businesses who are just setting up their Business Account won’t likely be requesting access to an existing Ad Account or setting up a second Ad Account, so we’re sticking to simply adding an existing Ad Account here.)

Same as adding a Facebook Page, you will have to access “Business Settings” in your Business Account Manager. Click on “Accounts” from the left-side menu and then click on “Ad Accounts” before clicking the blue “Add” dropdown menu.

From here you have one of the three options listed above — Add an Ad Account; Request Access to an Ad Account; or Create a new Ad Account. Select “Add an Ad Account” and then enter the Ad Account ID (You can find your Ad Account ID number in the account dropdown menu in Ads Manager or in your browser’s address bar in Ads Manager.) Now, you will have to follow the prompts to select which people have access and their access levels.

A few quick notes: If the Ad Account you’re trying to add has already been added to another Business Account Manager, you will not be able to add it to yours — it can only be owned by one. Also, there is a limit for the number of Ad Accounts attached to your Business Account Manager which is determined by your ad spend. Your Ad Account limit increases as your spend goes up. You also will not be able to add your Ad Account to Business Manager if it is a prepaid Ad Account.

3. Connect your Instagram Business Account to your Business Account Manager

Adding your Instagram Business Account to your Business Account Manager is similar to adding your Facebook Page. You’ll have to do it from your Business Account Manager, clicking the gear icon in your sidebar on the homepage to access your “Business Assets” section. Within the “Business Settings,” click the “Accounts” option and then click “Instagram Accounts.” From here click “Add” and enter your Instagram username and password and then click Next.

4. Setting up permissions to access your accounts

When connecting your Page, Instagram account, and Ad Accounts to your Business Manager Account, part of the process is adding people who should have access to the accounts. You’ll want to be sure to add yourself along with any staff members or agency contacts and consultants who are responsible for managing your accounts. It’s best practice to have more than one person connected in case one person gets locked out, you have another way to access your assets.

Facebook and Instagram Ad Accounts come with three different admin levels or “permissions” — you get to choose who has what level of permissions when you add them to the account by assigning them a role. The three types of roles include: Admin, Advertiser and Analyst.

Here’s a quick overview of each role’s permission levels:

Admin Advertiser Analyst
View Ads
Access Reports
Create and Edit Ads
Edit Payment Method
Manage Admin Permissions

5. Set up billing in Ads Manager

Before you can begin running ads, you will need to add your business credit card information so that once your campaigns go live, Meta is able to charge you.

Your payment method will be saved to your account and accessible via the Business Account Manager. Only admins on the Ad Account can add payment information. Use these steps to set up your billing.

6. Create and Implement the Meta Pixel

One of the key benefits of Facebook and Instagram advertising is the targeting and tracking capabilities Meta offers — all of which are made possible by the Meta Pixel. A Meta Pixel is a piece of code you install on your website that allows Facebook to display your ads to your site’s visitors while they’re on Facebook or Instagram and then measure the effectiveness of your ads over time.

To create your Meta Pixel, access the “Events Manager” from your Business Account Manager. Click the “Connect Data Sources” option and select “Web,” then select “Meta Pixel” and click “Connect.” Meta will prompt you to add your Pixel name, from here you will add your website URL and click “Continue.”

Once you’ve gone through these steps, you will have created your Pixel and can now add it to your website code either manually or via a partner integration (if you are using a third-party tool for your Meta advertising tactics). There is also an “Email Instructions” option that allows you to send your Pixel code to the person responsible for setting up the code on your website.

You can begin to create your Pixel here: Create and Install a Meta Pixel.

7. Implement Conversions API (CAPI)

Conversions API, also called CAPI, is a newer tracking addition since 2021 and Apple’s iOS14 update. As Meta states, implementing CAPI “creates a direct connection between your marketing data and the systems which help optimize ad targeting, decrease cost per action and measure results across Meta technologies.” It is beneficial to set up, especially if you are an ecommerce business so you can better track conversion events such as purchases. Learn more about it here and if you are using Shopify, here’s how to implement it using Shopify.

8. Set up events for tracking conversions

While your Meta Pixel allows you to target your audience across Facebook and Instagram, it also allows you to track actions to determine conversions and to understand your campaign performance. You do this by setting up “Events” when you set up your Pixel.

Once you have set up the Pixel code on your website, you can add code for the events – or conversions – you want to measure. Meta has a number of events available to track (although not all are available to all advertisers). The most popular events include:

  • Add to Cart
  • Purchase
  • Lead
  • Complete Registration
  • Subscribe

It’s worth noting, advertisers are able to use one Pixel across the various pages of their website. Your Meta Pixel can include code for various events depending on the conversions you want to track that happen across your site: Product Views, Add to Cart, Purchase, etc.

9. Verify Your Domain

Verify your domain with Business Manager so that Meta knows you are connected to your business. Use these steps to verify it using one of the listed methods.

Update: As of May 2023, Meta announced that they will no longer require brands to do this, but it is still recommended.

10. Set Up 2 Factor Authentication

It is very important for you and all users added to your Business Manager to have 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) set up on all personal accounts. Having this set up will increase the security of your personal and business accounts. If you do not set it up, you may leave yourself more susceptible to getting your account hacked. If hackers get into your business account, they can then set up campaigns to run in your account to promote what they want, often times scams, and charge it to your credit card on file. This is currently the best way to help prevent such instances. Set up 2FA using these steps.

11. Set up Google Analytics

Last but not least, your Meta advertising efforts should not stop on their platform. To be a truly holistic digital marketer, you’ll want to set up a Google Analytics account so that your reports go beyond your Meta Ads activity.

A Google Analytics Account is free and allows you to track various user data, including how long a user was on your site, how many pages a user visited while on your site, bounce rates and traffic source information. You can also use Google Analytics to measure events like ecommerce activity, interactions with links, buttons, video controls, and other events and dynamic elements of your site or app.

To set up a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Account, you’ll need a Google Account. From there you’ll be able to set up a “Property” in your Analytics Account — a property represents the website or app you want to track. You can then set up a “Reporting View” for the Property where you determine which data you want to review: All data, data from a specific region, etc.

Once you’ve set up the “Property” in your Analytics Account and your “Reporting View” preferences, you’ll have to add the tracking code for Google Analytics to your website by setting up an Analytics Google Tag through Google Tag Manager. This is the code you will use to track each webpage you want to measure.

You can set up your Google Analytics account here:

Facebook and Instagram advertising delivers too many business benefits for businesses to ignore. This list is meant to help get you started, but there is a world of insights a professional social media ad expert can bring to the table when it comes to your creative assets, campaign logistics, ad spend recommendations and more.

If you’re not already working with a social media marketing professional, AKvertise provides consultative sessions to audit your current needs and offer advice on where you may want to start. We offer a variety of consulting services catering to businesses of all sizes – and budgets.

Contact us now to schedule a call.


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