Hi-Tec on Facebook

Thought I’d spend a few seconds sharing what Hi-Tec (The Shoe People) are doing (right) online (through social media).

A while back there was a YouTube video, http://www.youtube.com/v/Oe3St1GgoHQ, which flew around the web and got a few million views. Then Hi-Tec announced that the video was theirs and neatly called it their Liquid Mountaineering project. Very well thought through and executed. A bit of genius, a bit of magic, three cheers to Hi-Tec.

This morning I see a Facebook friend had liked the Hi-Tec SA Facebook page. He and I both post our running activity to Facebook via the Runkeeper app, so I thought it was worth taking a gander. When I get there I see (what I believe to be) quite a cool little viral mechanism built into a Facebook app.

Hi-Tec’s Facebook app offers Facebook users 2 options:

  1. the opportunity the make money off your friends by referring them to buy Hi-Tec shoes
  2. the opportunity to join the V-Lite Infinity team buy selling your soul to Hi-Tec and get a free pair of shoes

Now as much as I wanted to make money from my unsuspecting Facebook friends, I thought free shoes for being a social media slut seemed more appropriate. I followed the steps, and below are the screens of the whole process from before I “liked” the page right through to to the end.

The screen shots below should help if you want to see the Facebook conversion process and not actually follow it OR just want to know what process a Facebook app needs to follow to work within Facebook’s (digital) walls.

From a technical point of view the App does a few things you might like to know:

  • They used some FBML code “<fb:visible-to-connection>” to encourage users to click the like button, then once the page is “Liked” it shows the user different content. This is a good technique that shows more relevant content before and after the users “Likes” the page.
  • The App itself it built in flash, and sits in a sub folder of the Facebook Apps sub-domain: http://apps.facebook.com/vliteinfinity/
  • The flash files are hosted on Traffic Integrated Marketting’s domain on what looks like a Hetzner server: http://development.trafficintegrated.co.za.www33.cpt2.host-h.net/vlite/base.swf
  • This is a guess, but I imagine they (the developers) chose flash so they could do all the Database queries without doing a bunch of Javascript Queries (Ajax), and keep everything tied into one player.  This would avoid the need for doing XHTML/CSS too, which can be a bit of a pain in Facebook. An even bigger stretch would be to say the developers used a Flash Extension to do all the database queries instead of getting a server side language like PHP (or ASP) to query a database to POST or GET the variables in and out of Flash.
  • My only criticism is after you finish the whole process there is no built in way to shout and scream about it, further spreading the word.

Here are the screens.

Facebook Like

My Facebook Friends “Like” shows up on my wall. This viral mechanism, culminating in a Facebook User conversion is Hi-Tec’s free(ish) exposure

Hi-Tec App Before Like is pressed

Click through to Hi-Tec’s Facebook page and the App loads by default. This is what is looks like BEFORE the “Like” button is pressed

Hi-Tec Facebook App

When you click the “Like” button, the App shows different content using the FBML code <fb:visible-to-connection>. Hi-Tec Facebook App – Where you get to make a choice

App Asks for Permission

At this stage, the Facebook App Asks for Permission to use the details stored in your Facebook account

Facebook Asks for Permission

Facebook Asks for Permission, this is a standard Facebook page

Hi-Tec Facebook App - Step 1

Hi-Tec Facebook App – Step 1 (read more, figure it all out, OR click the big button…) Nice clear call to action

Hi-Tec Facebook App - Step 2

Hi-Tec Facebook App – Step 2 (You have to rationalise why you deserve some free running shoes! Fair enough)

Hi-Tec Facebook App - The Contenders

Hi-Tec Facebook App – The Contenders (the people who entered before YOU)

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About Nicholas

I love helping people and solving problems. I am currently working on:
A Cape Town Fibre ISP – Atomic Access
A South African 2-for-1 Dining Deal Platform – Going Out
Borderless Blockchain Mobile Network Operator – World Mobile
From England and currently living in Cape Town, South Africa. Say hi!
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