Troubleshooting Facebook and Instagram connections

You're in the right article if you are…

  • having trouble connecting or refreshing a Facebook Page or Instagram account. 
  • seeing a blank screen when trying to refresh a Facebook Page or Instagram account. 
  • not seeing your Instagram account listed when you try to connect it to Buffer.

Because Instagram needs to be linked to a Facebook Page in order for it to work in Buffer, this article is for both people looking to use Facebook Pages and Instagram business or creator accounts.

Setting up these channels is a little more complex than other social networks, so we’re here to walk you through each of the settings. It’s very important that you go through these steps in order, so that we can identify where the issue with the connection is. Please do not skip any steps or it could prevent Buffer from connecting your channel. If you have any questions in the process, please reach out to us at hello@buffer.com.

Here are the steps that we’ll work through, in order:

  1. Checking your admin settings (Facebook and Instagram connections)
  2. Checking your permissions (Facebook and Instagram connections)
  3. Checking your Instagram account type (Instagram only)
  4. Converting your Instagram account and linking a Facebook page (Instagram only)
  5. Reconverting your Instagram account (Instagram only)
  6. Checking the connection between Facebook and Instagram (Instagram only)
  7. Reauthorizing the connection between Facebook and Buffer (Facebook and Instagram connections)

Checking your admin settings (Facebook Pages and Instagram)

In order to connect or refresh your Facebook Page in Buffer, you’ll first need to be set up as an admin of the Facebook Page with Full Control.

Watch this video to ensure you have admin access with Full Control, or follow the steps below it.

Checking settings in the Professional Dashboard

  1. In Facebook, open your Page and be sure you’re logged in as your Facebook Page (not your profile).
  2. Click Professional Dashboard in the menu on the left.
  3. Click Page Access in the menu on the left.
  4. Now, click your name and a popup will appear. It should say, "This person has full control."

This person has full control - Facebook settings

  • If it doesn't say “This person has full control" next to your Facebook profile name, you'll need someone on your team with full control to adjust your permissions.
  • If you don’t see your Facebook profile name listed, it’s likely that your team is using Meta Business Suite and you’ll need to check the settings in Meta Business Suite to continue.
  1. Once full control has been granted in the Professional Dashboard, you can move onto the next section to check your admin settings in Meta Business Suite, which will also need to be set to 'Full Control.' 

Checking settings in Meta Business Suite

  1. You’ll first head to your Meta Business Suite Settings (or click this link).
  2. If you land on a page with multiple Business Suite accounts, first click on the account for the Facebook Page you’re trying to access.

⚠️ If you don’t see the Business Suite account that you’re looking for, you aren’t properly setup as an admin with Full Control within that Business Suite, and you’ll want to ask someone else on your team to lend a hand.

  1. There are two places to check for permissions. First, click Pages under the "Accounts" section and look for your name on the list. You’ll want to ensure the setting Full control: Everything is toggled on.
  2. This is the first setting that is necessary within Meta Business Suite. Let’s get on to the second.
  3. Next, click on People under the "Users" section and ensure that your name is added to the list, and that you have the setting Full control: Everything is toggled on.
  4. That’s it! You can now move on to checking your permissions (just below) before trying to connect your channel to Buffer again.

Checking your permissions (Facebook Pages and Instagram)

One of the most common causes of connection issues is missing permissions between Facebook and Buffer. In the process to connect Instagram and Facebook, we're required to show a list of permissions that are granted to Buffer. It's crucial that all permissions are granted for all Pages (even those that aren't connected to Buffer). If permissions are missing, it can prevent us from finding the channels you manage. 

This video will walk you through the steps to check permissions, or you can follow the steps below:

Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Log into the Facebook personal profile that has admin access with Full Control on the Facebook Page.
  2. Click on the small drop-down arrow at the top right of your screen and then click Settings & privacy > Settings.
  3. Head to Business Integrations in Facebook.

⚠️ Please note that these settings are found on your Facebook profile and not within the Facebook Page settings, so you must be using Facebook as your profile to access them.

  1. Find Buffer in the list and choose View and Edit.
  2. Scroll down to the list of Pages and ensure that ALL boxes are selected (you may need to click See all pages to expand the list of pages and see the ones that need permissions to be granted). From here, tick all of the empty boxes.

Permissions area when connecting Facebook to Buffer

📝 Note: If you don’t see any individual Pages listed in the following screens, it means that you’ve previously granted Buffer permissions to access all Pages, which is the ideal setup. In this case, you won’t need to check any Pages here, and instead, you’ll need to reestablish the authorization by following the steps to Reauthorize the connection between Buffer and Facebook/Instagram.

  1. After selecting all of your accounts, click Save.
    • If you are connecting a Facebook Page, head back to Buffer and try connecting the Page again. If the Page does not connect, please jump down to Reauthorizing the connection between Facebook and Buffer.
    • If you are connecting an Instagram account, try connecting the account to Buffer. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll want to go through the remaining steps in this article.

Checking your Instagram account type (Instagram only)

If you’re connecting Instagram, you’ll need to first make sure your channel is set up as a professional account (e.g. a business or creator account).

Unsure of which type of Instagram account you have? 

  1. Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and go to your profile.
  2. Tap on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the upper right corner of the app.
  3. Here's what you will see at the bottom of the list of options, depending on your current account type:
    • If you currently have an Instagram business account, you'll see Business tools and controls.
    • If you currently have an Instagram personal profile, you'll see Account type and tools.
    • If you currently have an Instagram creator account, you'll see Creator tools and controls.
  4. If your account is a personal account, you’ll need to convert your account to a professional account using the steps below.
  5. Once your Instagram account is set up as a business or creator account, please move onto checking the connection between Facebook and Instagram.

Converting your Instagram to a business or creator account and linking a Facebook page

While it is possible to convert to a business or creator account in the Instagram app, we recommend completing this process via Facebook to ensure a Page is correctly associated with the Instagram account. The steps below will ensure your Instagram is both set up as a business or creator account and linked to a Facebook page.

Converting your Instagram account to a professional account via Facebook (recommended)

  1. Head over to Facebook and navigate to the list of Pages you have access to (or click this link).
  2. Click on the Page that you'll associate with your Instagram account, or create a new Page if you don't already have one.

📝 You must have admin access with Full Control on the Page you're associating to your Instagram professional account. To check if you have the proper permissions, follow the steps above.

  1. Once you're in your Page, click Settings in the left hand sidebar.
  2. Click Settings on the left hand side and then Linked Accounts.
  3. Click Connect Account.

Connect Instagram account button in Facebook Linked Account settings

  1. Next, click Connect and then Confirm to proceed through the connection prompts.  
  2. Enter your Instagram login credentials and click Log In. (If you're already signed into Instagram, or your login credentials are saved within your browser, you'll just need to click Continue).
  3. You'll see a pop up window prompting you to set up your Instagram business or creator account. Follow the on-screen instructions, ensuring you enter your contact info, and then click Done.

⚠️ If you don't see the pop up window prompting you to set up your Instagram business or creator account, you can try converting via the Instagram app instead, following the steps in the section just below.

  1. Once your account has been converted, you can try connecting Instagram to Buffer again. If it works, you’re all set to connect or refresh your channel in Buffer! If you’re still having trouble connecting Instagram, please check the connection between Facebook and Instagram

Converting from a personal account to a professional account via the Instagram mobile app

  1. Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and tap the menu button in the upper right corner.
  2. Scroll down to For professionals and tap Account type and tools.
  3. Tap Switch to professional accountNote: If you don't see "Switch to professional account," but do see "Business tools and controls," you're already set and can try connecting or refreshing your Instagram channel in Buffer again. If you're still experiencing trouble, let's check the connection between Facebook and Instagram.
  4. Tap continue until you reach the category page. Select a category.
  5. Select creator or business. Your Instagram account will now be a professional account.
  6. Then, to link a Facebook page:
    • Under "For professionals" tap either "Creator tools and controls" (creator accounts) or "Business tools and controls" and then tap Connect a Facebook page. You'll be prompted to log into Facebook and can choose the page you want to connect to Instagram.
  1. Once your account has been converted to a professional account and connected to a Facebook page, head back to Buffer and try connecting or refreshing your Instagram channel. If you are still unable to, check the connection between Facebook and Instagram.

Reconverting your Instagram account

In certain situations, for example if your Instagram account is currently a business or creator account without a Facebook Page properly connected to it, or if you're experiencing an error when trying to publish posts to Instagram, you will need to convert your Instagram account back to a personal profile and then reconvert it to a professional account.

⚠️ Please note, your Insights will be lost when converting your Instagram account back to a personal profile. You may wish to read and save your Insights before converting.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and navigate to Settings.
  2. Tap Account.
  3. Tap Switch to personal account, and then tap Switch back to confirm.
  4. Your Instagram account should now be a personal profile and you can walk through the steps above to convert to a business or creator account, ensuring you link a Facebook Page to it.

Checking the connection between Facebook and Instagram (Instagram only)

Once you’ve ensured that your Instagram account is a business or creator account, you’ll check to make sure that your Facebook Page is properly connected to Instagram within your Page settings and Meta Business Suite. 

To check the connection between Instagram and Facebook on your Page:

  1. Log into the Facebook Page linked to Instagram.
  2. Click on Professional Dashboard.
  3. Click on Linked Accounts.
  4. You should see your Instagram account connected, like this:

Facebook Linked Instagram Account Page

    • If your Instagram is connected properly, the options should be “View Details” and “Disconnect Account” as they are in the image above.
    • These are some other screens you might see and the steps you should take. You can click on the images to expand them.

If you see a button that says Connect Account, it means your Instagram account is not linked to your Facebook Page. Please follow the steps here to complete this process and then try connecting your Instagram account again.

If you see a button that says Get Started, it means your Instagram account is linked to your Facebook Page but it hasn't been converted to a business or creator account. Click Get Started and follow the on-screen prompts to convert your Instagram account to a business account. Then, try connecting your Instagram account again.

If you see a button that says Review Connection, it means that the account must be confirmed before third-party applications are able to verify the connection. Please click the button and follow the prompts to confirm. Note: If you encounter issues with this process, you may need to reach out to Facebook Support in order to confirm the connection.
  1. If your team is using Meta Business Suite, you can follow the steps below to check to make sure there are no alerts. Otherwise, you can try connecting Instagram to Buffer again.

Checking the Instagram connection within Meta Business Suite

Head to https://business.facebook.com/latest/home and check to see if there are any alerts about features being unavailable. If you see this prompt, click Get Started. Here’s what this would look like:

Meta Business Suite - Unavailable features alert

If you do not see an alert and your Instagram channel is correctly linked to your Facebook Page, please try reauthorizing the connection between Facebook and Buffer using the steps right below.

Reauthorizing the connection between Facebook and Buffer (Facebook Pages and Instagram)

If the steps above didn’t work to connect your Facebook or Instagram channel, you may need to reauthorize the connection between Buffer and Facebook. Watch the video below or use the steps under the video to work through the process. 

Reauthorizing steps

  1. In Facebook, click on the small drop down arrow at the top right of your screen and then click Settings & privacy > Settings. From there, click Business Integrations on the left hand side (or click this link).

⚠️ Please note that these settings are found on your Facebook profile and not within the Facebook Page settings, so you must be using Facebook as your profile to access them.

  1. You should see Buffer listed in the integrations area. Click Remove.
  2. A window will pop up asking if you want to remove Buffer. Click RemoveNote: this will delete the Buffer app within Facebook, not your Buffer account.
  3. Head back over to to Buffer and try your connection again. When you are connecting or refreshing your Facebook or Instagram channel, please be sure to accept all permissions and all Pages (even Pages not connected to Buffer) during the authorization process.
  4. After reauthorizing Buffer, you will need to refresh all Facebook and Instagram channels you have connected to Buffer.

📝 You'll notice an option to "Choose what you allow". This option is required to be shown in this step due to Facebook's guidelines, but modifying any of the permissions here will mean that we are not able to authenticate with Facebook and it will not be possible to connect your Instagram channel.

Facebook pop-up - list of permissions Buffer has access to

Still having trouble? Reach out to us at hello@buffer.com and let us know the error you see and we’ll be happy to troubleshoot with you!

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