Requirements: The customer interested in Elinext expertise in social media and marketing area. Based on Elinext ready social media solution which includes the integration with social media networks, website analytics, Google Adwords integration and other services, the development team was supposed to develop an engine for running social media challenges. The customer can choose a hashtag, announce a media challenge and then once users create their posts with the chosen hashtag they are counted by the engine in a real time and the content of the posts is displayed on an interactive wall containing the following information:
- social channel (for the first release three social networks were selected: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); - media content and text of a post; - username and the link to user’s social account; - link to the post.
In the second phase a capability to upload your content directly on the interactive wall was added. The customer requested a user friendly admin panel and integration to 3rd party websites. The dashboard was required to have the following capabilities:
- manage website configuration; - create, update and delete content pages; - set up milestones. If the number of posts reaches a specific milestone the user who creates winning posts is selected as a winner; - manage the database of posts, see the statistics of collected posts and users, searching, filtering and ordering capabilities.
Challenge: The development team used Twitter, Instagram and Facebook API for collecting user posts in real time, Facebook has deprecated hashtag search API and other social networks have limits for their API usage. The customer also requested the system to be properly rendered on all the devices including small mobile phones and widescreen TV sets. The front-end is required to have engaging animation and attractive UI.
Solution: The development team used Elinext media solution for the integration with the social network. For collecting posts in real time the developers created an algorithm used background workers to request the required posts from social networks API. The team also managed to develop a workaround for Facebook hashtag API issue: it was decided to gather posts from a Facebook public page related to a media challenge and then parse the posts and comments in order to get appropriate content.
The dashboard for managing engine configuration was based on Elinext ready CRM solution which helped to save a lot of time. The front-end developer used a masonry algorithm for the wall animation and responsive web design approach to the system to work on all the devices.
Results: The development team managed to create a flexible, reusable and high performance system for social media challenges. The first social media challenge was successfully launched and tested by real users during a media conference where the customer took part. As a result of running the social game the traffic on a customer’s website increased significantly and the promoted event attracted a vast audience.