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Facebook “Parent-Child” Structure Benefits High-Volume Advertisers

Facebook recently introduced a new Business Manager structure, formally called 2-Tier and informally known as “Parent/Child”, that will improve the customer ads management experience for high-volume resellers, agencies, and multi-location brands. 

The Old Way

Before the “Parent/Child” structure, enterprises who published high volumes of ads on Facebook on behalf of SMBs or locations were required to create Ad Accounts in their Business Manager for each advertiser. This is known as the 1-Tier Business Manager structure.

In a typical setup for a brand, agency, or SMB reseller who is publishing Facebook Ads on behalf of their locations or customers, each customer has their own Facebook Ad Account within the brand, SMB reseller, or agency’s primary Business Manager. All Advertiser Pages are shared with the single Business Manager. A single System User manages all Ad Accounts and Pages within the Business Manager.

There are several limitations of the 1-Tier structure which introduced friction into the ability of high-volume SMB resellers, agencies with multi-location customers, or large multi-location brands to scale their social advertising to hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of locations. The limitations include:

  • There is one system user under the Business Manager with access to all of the pages and ad accounts. This means that there is a single point of failure, and if the system user’s access token was compromised, all ad accounts would be compromised.
  • The same one system-user has access to all the pages, which means that if the system-user was blocked due to scale issues or policy violations, it would affect all ad accounts.
  • There is a limit on how many ad accounts a Business Manager can have, as a matter of Facebook policy. Once the limit is reached, it is a manual process to ask Facebook for permission to increase the limit. Typically, new Business Managers have a limit of 1 or 5 ad accounts, and increases are granted in relatively small allotments. This is a major inhibitor for a high-growth, high-volume Facebook Ads reseller, agency, or multi-location brand.
  • If a certain number of ad accounts are blocked for policy violations under a Business Manager, it blocks the entire Business Manager or its system-user. Because there are some assets that live at the Business Manager level, all of your clients’ assets are present at the Business Manager level. This, in turn, means that you must track which Pixel/Custom Audience/Product Catalog belongs to which user.
The Parent/Child Solution

Facebook’s new 2-Tier structure provides an answer to the limitations of the 1-Tier structure. The new Business Manager structure is only available to Facebook Marketing Partners who utilize Facebook’s APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to automate and simplify campaign management.

The new structure introduces a unique “Child” Business Manager for each Advertiser, with the Advertiser’s page shared into that Child Business Manager. The Child Business Managers are independently managed and operate in isolation from each other.

The benefits of the 2-Tier Structure include:

  • There is no limit on the number of Child Business Managers, so high-volume SMB resellers, agencies, and multi-location brands can seamlessly scale their Facebook campaigns to an infinite number of locations without any manual work.
  • All location assets are housed and managed within their respective Child Business Managers, including their Business Pages. This helps to organize assets more efficiently.
  • Ad Accounts or Campaigns that are blocked for policy violations are insulated within their Child Business Managers, so no impact is felt by other clients.

There are some important considerations when moving to the new 2-Tier Structure. Most importantly, only Facebook Marketing Partners with programmatic access to Facebook publishing tools can implement the structure and provide you with access to Child Business Managers. 


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