Borubar Ventures is a venture capital fund with a special focus on technology. They have invested money in several projects from this area and this one was commissioned by the company itself.
The Business Need:
The client had identified a big gap in the Internet marketing market. Companies introducing new products need to build market reach quickly but display and pay per click ads are more and more expensive and less effective. Facebook offers an alternative channel which for many people is the single most important website of the Internet and has been used as a marketing channel for years.
We’ve decided to give Facebook pages owners a chance to earn money with their popular websites by publishing content coming directly from companies. Our server app had to lean heavily on Graph API in order to present statistics on each campaign reach and Return of Investment for the companies using it. The users were to be divided into two groups, each with a different set of functionalities available: customers and influencers.
We took care of the whole IT part of the project: starting with the solution architecture, then User Interface design, development of the server RoR application and integrating it with Graph API, testing and maintenance.
Once again we have used the Ruby on Rails framework together with PostgreSQL database. Same as with the Pingmail, this application depends heavily on scheduled background workers and again, we’ve used the Sidekiq tool to manage them and we decided to host the development and staging applications with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The most important external asset empowering the whole application is Facebook Graph API, which gives us the data on each post’s reach, number of shares or likes. While registering in our application, each influencer share their data with it, in order for the customers to be able to find FB pages matching their needs best.
From the moment a post is published by influencer, its performance on Facebook can be tracked. Both the influencer and the customer can see how many times is it viewed, liked or shared, in a day-to day breakdown. Compared with the price per post set by influencer, this enables us to present average reach cost for each campaign and generate charts with the help of Wrap Bootstrap library that our UI is rendered with. In addition, UTM tags are added automatically to the target links published in the posts, so that the customers can separate this traffic volume in Google Analytics.
PayPal and its API are used to charge customers’ accounts and pay the influencers. This has proven the most flexible and best way to handle this prepaid type of services. Thanks to PayPal, our application can block some amount on an user’s account for future payments for campaigns already started. Influencers are also paid to their PayPal accounts.
How the App Looks Like:
The project started with talking through the client’s idea of the service and researching the data we can possibly get from Graph API. After we had confirmed the requirements can be delivered, we’ve prepared UI prototypes and flow charts, based on which the application development was planned.
Then we’ve chosen Ruby gems and other external tools to be used in the process of the application development. The next step was designing the database and application structure and setting up the development and staging environments using AWS. After that, we’ve gather all tasks in a backlog and roughly planned a couple of first sprints. At this stage we were able to give the client our first time estimate.
As with any other project, each development sprint started with a planning meeting and ended with a retrospective. Ongoing affairs were treated during daily stand-up meetings, as always: things done, to be done, problems faced. Unfortunately, the client has not taken part, only received summaries during our weekly status meetings.
The features have been tested during each of development sprints. Once we were close to the launch, User Acceptance Tests (UAT) with the client started, followed by two full sprints for fixes/updates.
Since Influencers.Club launched, we’ve been developing the application on a steady basis adding new modules and functionalities. Among others, integration with Twitter and Instagram APIs has been added, giving our advertisers a possibility to launch their campaigns in these new social channels.
Three months from the beginning of UX design until the deployment. Then ongoing maintenance and development of new modules.
Technologies and Tools Used:
- Ruby on Rails
- Postgre SQL
- Facebook Graph API
- Twitter API
- Instagram API
- Wrap Bootstrap
- Amazon Web Services
- Redmine z modułem Agile
The Server App:
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