When you think of ‘Agency Transparency’, you’ll immediately think of getting a monthly report on the results of their work – and that is something they should supply as standard, not charged as an extra. But have you considered HOW they work? For example, when they run Facebook marketing campaigns for you, are they accessing and managing your page through a personal profile? Whose ad account are they using? Are they using their own Facebook pixel or yours? Not sure why that’s important? I’ll explain:
Managing your page via a personal profile
This is an absolute ‘bell-ringer’ for raising the alarm that they don’t know what they’re doing! Facebook’s Business Manager is best practice for securely managing the company’s Pages, Ad Accounts, Catalogues and Pixels in one place, without sharing login information or being connected to their co-workers on Facebook. It is specifically designed to give you control and security with the main benefits being:
- Ability to manage multiple Pages and Ad Accounts from one Business Manager
- Securely share and control access to your Ad Accounts, Pages and other assets on Facebook
- Complete control to easily add or remove employees and agencies to your account
- Grant different permission levels based on business objectives
- Access valuable Pixel data
- Quickly build custom audiences for your advertising efforts
- Access the Catalogue and build product sets with ease
- Business level reporting for multiple accounts
- Facebook Support will refer to Business Manager when troubleshooting issues
- Manage billing details and spend thresholds
Whose Ad Account are they using?
How do you know? All your campaign spend should be billed directly from Facebook, not the agency. Not only does this offer you complete transparency on spend, it will also prevent the agency from taking a commission or percentage of your ad spend whether it be stealthy or not. In our agency, it doesn’t matter if you spend $1,000/month or $100,000/month, we won’t make a cent on it – and why should we? Surely what you put towards your campaign ad spend, should be spent as such? This also feeds into our third point:
Are they using their own Facebook pixel or yours?
This is a great way to find out if they have any expertise and indeed scruples! For the uninitiated, a Facebook pixel is a few lines of code (like a cookie) that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website. Firstly, if they know what they’re doing, they’ll ensure your website has one installed and it is indeed working correctly. Secondly, they’ll ensure that your businesses Ad Account (in your Business Manager) owns that pixel. Handy hint: If they have to create a Pixel, ensure it is created as part of your Ad Account. This is important because all the data that Pixel collects, will be owned by your business. Unfortunately, the vast majority of agencies for some reason use a Pixel owned by them or the staff member who set up your campaigns. This means if or when you decide to move on from the agency, all ad campaigns and data collected (that you paid for) goes with the agency – you lose it all and have to start again from scratch! They are then free to potentially use your data against you should a competitor of yours decide to use their services.
In any relationship, honesty and transparency are paramount and if any agency is worth their salt, they’ll be happy to act accordingly. Just remember though, they are allowed to keep a few secrets when it comes to their IP. Telling you how they work is different to telling you how they do it.