Leverage Facebook Pages/Apps to create a unique way to engage your social community
Facebook’s custom pages allow for a some fun flexibility leveraging iframe technology and custom API’s for incentivised engagement. There’s a technique called “Reveal Page” or “Reveal Tabs“. This technique requires that a user like the page prior to gaining full access to the app.
I went the PHP route for Facebook’s API through a BlueHost.com hosting account and CheapSSLs for the SSL. As of october 2012 facebook is requiring all linked in content to have an SSL certificate. Both of these offered inexpensive solutions and were relatively easy to setup. It did require contacting both of their support but with live online chat it took only a matter of minutes to configure the ssl.
As a facebook developer (register for free) you can access their libraries and sample codes including the facebook library. Once I had the hosting setup I created a php page which checks to see if the user has liked NextStepU’s facebook page. If they do display the page content if not display the splash page.
I used a simple AJAX registration form so that the page doesn’t have to reload or do a redirect.
At NextStepU, we started with a super simple sketch while brainstorming. We mapped out the content we wanted to use then did some quick doodling which got us onto the idea of using some ice burgs, penguins and an adorable narwhal. We added some fun little stylistic flairs and just had fun.