Automation

Facebook Integrations: A Guide for Beginners

facebook-integrations-beginner-guide

This article does not list every Facebook integration there is. Instead, it is an introduction to the topic of Facebook integrations, and the role they play in advancing businesses that use the social media platform.

There are over 7 million active advertisers on Facebook, and integrations are becoming increasingly relevant to get things done. But first of all, what are Facebook integrations?

A Facebook integration can be defined as the process of connecting one or more applications to a Facebook product, with the purpose of sharing data to optimize workflows and campaigns.

Some of the Facebook products that support integrations include:

  • Messenger
  • Pages
  • Groups
  • Lead Ads
  • Custom Audiences
  • Offline Conversions
  • Conversions
  • Workplace
  • Ad Insights

The full list of Facebook products with existing API documentation can be found at the bottom of the Facebook for Developers Documentation page.

In turn, there are hundreds of applications that you can connect to these Facebook products: from chatbots and email marketing apps to work collaboration tools and other social media platforms.

This, however, is just the tip of what you will learn from this article. The goal here is that you walk out with a series of actionable insights regarding Facebook integrations. For this, I will cover the following subtopics:

  1. What is a Facebook Integration? An Expanded Definition
  2. Reasons to Implement Facebook Integrations
  3. Methods to Create Facebook Integrations
  4. Facebook Integrations Examples
  5. Final Thoughts

Ready? Then let’s get started.

1. What Is A Facebook Integration? An Expanded Definition

A Facebook integration is the resulting process of merging one or more applications and a Facebook product. In other words, it is a connection between two or more apps, one of them being a Facebook app.

Facebook integrations enable the sharing of data between one or more third-party apps and a Facebook app. The most popular ways to create and implement these integrations are:

  • Using cloud-integration tools, such as Integromat
  • Relying on native third-party app integrations (when available)
  • Using Facebook’s application programming interfaces (APIs)

I am addressing the differences between these methods in a section below (see “Methods to Create Facebook Integrations”), but the short version of it can be summarized in one word: convenience.

The first two methods are easier, and don’t require you to use code. Working directly with APIs, however, does require coding knowledge, and in most cases, more time to create and deploy your integrations.

facebook-telegram-integration-on-integromat

To conclude with this section, it is important to learn where you can see and manage your integrations on Facebook.

Bear in mind, some integrations can be created by just pressing a button. You might have used your Facebook account to log into an app, and an integration could have been created as a result. In any case, it’s good to know how to check this.

In your individual account, you can see and manage your Facebook integrations in settings > business integrations. You will find the integrations section on the bottom left side of the page:

facebook-profile-settings-integrations

If otherwise, you are using the Facebook Business Manager or the Facebook Ads Manager, you have to click the hamburger button on the top right corner of your screen, and then select “Business settings”. Once there, you will be able to check your active integrations on the left menu:

screenshot-of-facebook-business-manager-settings-screenshot

 

facebook-business-settings-integrations

2. Reasons to Implement Facebook Integrations

There are many reasons why companies, advertisers, and content creators implement Facebook integrations. The most usual ones are the following:

  • Automating processes and workflows (such as posting content, or monitoring activity)
  • Creating, expanding, and optimizing new and existing
  • Optimizing campaigns
  • Improving customer support

In addition, these goals tend to be aligned with broader objectives, such as:

  • Getting the most of our data
  • Reducing operational costs associated with manual processes
  • Gaining insights about customers and prospects

The possibilities are immense, and countless integrations can be developed to attain very granular goals. If you are curious about examples, please jump to the “Facebook Integrations Examples” section.

But first, let’s take a deeper look at how Facebook integrations can be created.

3. Methods to Create Facebook Integrations

There are three main approaches to creating Facebook integrations:

  • Cloud-integration tools
  • Native third-party app integrations
  • Facebook APIs

On top of explaining these in detail, I will also provide you with a little scoreboard to help you pick integrations methods (and ultimately, Facebook integrations). It displays five key factors regarding the methods, specifically:

  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • Complexity
  • Robustness
  • Pricing

Now, on to the ways to create Facebook integrations!

Cloud Integration Tools

Cloud integration tools allow you to quickly create and deploy Facebook integrations with other apps, including:

  • CRMs like Pipedrive, Zoho, and Hubspot
  • Email marketing tools like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and Sendinblue
  • Social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn
  • E-commerce tools and platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and PrestaShop
  • Messaging tools like Slack, Discord, and ManyChat

Popular cloud integration tools alternatives are Integromat, PieSync, and Process Street, albeit the scope, capability, ease of use, and pricing can vary greatly among these.

integromat-integrations-dashboard

What makes cloud integration tools attractive is that you can create a seemingly endless number of integrations to suit your needs; not just for Facebook, but for hundreds of different apps.

This can prove useful in many different scenarios: let’s imagine that you switch CRM tools, and need the data to keep flowing towards, say, Facebook Custom Audiences. A cloud integration platform will likely allow you to develop the integration with the new CRM in just a couple of hours.

In addition, most of these tools don’t require you to know how to code, and also offer key services like customer support, API maintenance, and training.

Using Cloud Integration Tools to Develop Facebook Integrations – Scoreboard

  • Convenience: High
  • Flexibility: High
  • Complexity: Variable
  • Robustness: High
  • Pricing: Variable

Native Third-party App Integrations

It’s not unusual for app developers to offer native integrations to its users.

Often, these are made available to answer user demand. The more users need to integrate an app with Facebook, the higher the chances the app developers will provide such an option.

Among native third-party app integrations, there is a sub-category called “Facebook partner integrations”. These are apps whose parent companies have established a partnership with Facebook.

To access them, you need to be logged in to Facebook Business Manager, click on the hamburger icon on the top right corner of your screen, and select the “Events Manager” option. Once there, you have to click on the “Partner Integrations” button on the left column:

facebook-partner-integrations

Popular partner integrations include:

  • Shopify
  • HubSpot
  • WooCommerce
  • Squarespace
  • Salesforce

To conclude here, two important notes:

First, not every app that features a native integration for one or more Facebook products is a Facebook partner. There’s nothing wrong with this; normally, the integrations are as good as any. Granted, being listed as a Facebook partner is a valuable badge, and you can rest assured that the integration has been tested and approved by Facebook teams.

Second, a number of big players have chosen not to offer native integrations. Among these, we can find Pipedrive and Insightly CRM.

Using Native App Third-party Facebook Integrations – Scoreboard

  • Convenience: Medium
  • Flexibility: Low
  • Complexity: Variable
  • Robustness: Variable
  • Pricing: Low

Facebook APIs

The third option to develop Facebook integrations is to go directly to the source: I’m talking about Facebook APIs.

As a method to create integrations, Facebook APIs are as good as any if you have the time, talent, and financial resources. Before you start tinkering with these, Facebook recommends reading the iOS, Android, JavaScript, PHP, and third-party SDK documentation, as well as the advanced topics documentation to cover more complex implementations.

facebook-apis-2020

To be clear, both cloud integration tools and native third-party app integrations rely on Facebook APIs as well, but act as “middleware” to facilitate access and operation.

Using Facebook APIs to Develop Integrations – Scoreboard

  • Convenience: Low
  • Flexibility: High
  • Complexity: High
  • Robustness: High
  • Pricing: Low

4. Facebook Integrations Examples

Tired of theory? You are not alone. Here I will show you three examples of Facebook integrations made with Integromat.

Take note, these integrations are available as templates, which means that you can implement them right away as long as you have:

  • A Facebook account
  • An Integromat account
  • App accounts for apps included in the templates

Autopost Facebook Posts to Twitter

Crossposting is a time-consuming task, and doing so on a constant basis can easily become a cumbersome process.

facebook-twitter-integration

This Integromat template is the solution. It does a very simple thing: every time you publish a new post on Facebook, Integromat will automatically tweet that post on Twitter.

Assuming that you have or manage active Facebook and Twitter accounts, you can deploy this integration in minutes.

Link to template: Tweet new Facebook posts

Auto Pin New Facebook Photos to Pinterest

In a similar fashion that the Facebook – Twitter integration displayed above, this Integromat template will automatically post your Facebook photos to Pinterest.

facebook-pinterest-integration

This Facebook – Pinterest integration can be particularly useful for companies and professionals that post a lot of images on a constant basis. Examples of these include fashion and apparel brands, food businesses with an active online presence, and influencers.

Link to template: Pin new Facebook photos to Pinterest

Post to Multiple Facebook Pages at Once

Many businesses own several Facebook pages, usually for localization purposes. This is a common occurrence among a number of industries, including insurance, car dealerships, or gym chains.

In these cases, local Facebook pages tend to repost the main Facebook page posts for obvious reasons. This task can consume a lot of time for both the main page and local pages administrators – unless the workflow is automated.

facebook-pages-integration

This Facebook integration automates the process of reposting a Facebook page post to other Facebook pages controlled by the same person or organization.

Link to template: Post new Facebook pages posts to another Facebook page

Bonus Integration: How Do I Integrate a CRM Into Facebook?

CRM data is extremely valuable when it comes to building custom and lookalike audiences on Facebook.

Most CRM tools, however, tend to focus on Facebook Lead Ads, offering integrations for that Facebook product alone.

Integromat, on the other hand, lets you connect most CRM tools (such as HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Insightly) to eight different Facebook products (including Lead Ads, Custom Audiences, and Offline Conversions).

All you need to do is search for the corresponding modules, connect the apps using Integromat’s visual builder, and run the scenarios.

In addition, there are templates that you can deploy instantly. There is, for example, a template that sends new records from HubSpot to Facebook Custom Audiences:

hubspot-facebook-custom-audiences-integration-integromat

It’s a simple, but useful integration that frees you from the task of uploading your HubSpot leads to Facebook.

Link to template: Send new records from HubSpot CRM to Custom Audiences in Facebook

Final Thoughts

Facebook integrations are a great way to add value to your data and improve your workflows. Moreover, they don’t have to be complicated.

It all starts with laying the groundwork, which implies the following:

  • Identifying and understanding the data you are dealing with
  • Evaluating your integration options: cloud integration tools, native integrations, Facebook APIs
  • Assessing your resources (time, financials, talent)
  • Elaborating a plan for implementation

Once this is done, you will be able to test and deploy. Please bear in mind, you don’t need to deploy a Facebook integration for anything. However, if it makes sense, exploring your options is a good way to start.

To conclude, if you want to learn more about Facebook integrations, please take a look at the resources below – and happy automating!

Additional Resources

Product Reviews

Facebook Documentation

Integromat Resources