**ShortStack has been updated since this blog post was written. Although the steps are basically the same, please reference the following video for building a Photo Contest using ShortStack.
Want to connect with your fans in a whole new way by giving them the ability to show off and win something at the same time? We’ve just released ShortStack’s Photo Contesting tools and Voting Widget, which make setup and administration of photo contests a breeze.
Setup of a photo contest in ShortStack is only slightly more complicated than most other widgets, but don’t worry – that’s why you’re here. We’ll run you through it.
The process can be explained in 3 basic steps:
1. Create a Promotion Form with a Photo Upload field
2. Add a Promotion Widget to your ShortStack tab
3. Add and configure a Voting Widget on your ShortStack tab
Before we get started, you’ll need to be a paying ShortStack user. Photo contests use the database features that are included with the Short Stack plan and above.
You’re prepped and ready, so let’s do this:
1. Create a Promotion Form with a Photo Upload field
Open up ShortStack and click that Forms/Promos button towards the top of the page, then add your new promotion by filling in your Promotion’s name and agreeing to the Facebook Promotion Guidelines (If you already have a database in your ShortStack account, you’ll need to expand the “Create a New Promotion or Custom Form Database” section first)
You’ll see three brand-spanking-new fields on the Form Designer for Photo support – “Photo”, “Photo Title”, and “Photo Description”. Add these guys to your contest form and save the form (make sure to fill out the rest of the form information – if you’ve never set up a ShortStack Promotion Form, take a look at our tutorial here: http://www.shortstacklab.com/a-widget-of-epic-promotions/.
• Photo – Adds a photo-upload field to your form
• Photo Title – Adds a text field for the title of the photo
• Photo Description – Adds a text area for your fans to describe their photo
This should do it for the form – save everything and let’s move on!
2. Add a Promotion Widget to your custom tab
Start off by creating or opening a tab where you want to put your photo contest form and configure your form as usual, outlined in the previous Promotion tutorial here: http://www.shortstacklab.com/a-widget-of-epic-promotions/
You might also note the new checkbox for hiding the form after submission:
3. Add and configure the Voting Widget
This is going to be the new stuff, so follow closely. Go ahead and add a new Voting Widget to your tab by clicking on the tab in the Widget Panel (it’s under Promotions).
Entry Selection and Sorting
• Only show Approved Entries – This enables entry moderation, which we’ll talk about in a little bit
• Which Voting Round? – If you want to have multiple rounds to your contest, ShortStack lets you automatically advance the top X entries over 3 rounds
• Sort Entries – Sort by date, number of votes, or randomly
• Entries Per Page – Select up to 24 entries to show per page
• Prev and Next Labels – If you want to show “Prev” and “Next” in another language, or just show something different, this is where you change it.
• You can choose from various layouts on the left side of the form, or select a Custom Layout on the right-side of the form.
• Show First Name / Last Name Settings – You can change what information is shown about the fan who submitted the form.
• “Vote” and “Votes” label – If you’d like to show these labels in another language, change the settings here
• Restrict Voting – Check this box to enable settings on the number of votes your visitors can have on each item
If you restrict voting, you’ll get the following options:
• Once – Users can only vote for one entry
• Once per entry – Users can vote once for each entry
• Only. – Users will only ever be able to vote once for the whole contest as per the “Once”/”Once per entry” settings
• Every… – This allows users to vote more than once, and you can choose the time frame in which users can vote again. Use this if you want to allow users to vote once a day.
• # – Set the time interval for voting again
• Days/hours/minutes/seconds – Sets the time interval for voting again
• Error Message – Define your own “Too soon!” error message
• Show Live Entries in Preview – If you want to see the live entries in your ShortStack Tab Designer, check this box, but heed the warning. If you vote on an entry, it will count.
• No Entries Found Label – Show another language by entering in your own text for when no entries have been added yet.
Congratulations! At this point, you should have a live running Photo Contest on your Facebook Page’s custom tab.
New Database Goodies For Promotion Forms
Check out the new view settings!
• Live – Entries that were entered from your Facebook Page.
• Test – Entries entered from your ShortStack tab designer
• Default – Default entry view
• Approvals – Adds the “Approved” column as shown in the screenshot. Check the boxes on entries you want to approve, and then click Update to approve them.
• Votes – Displays the number of votes each entry has received across each round of voting
If you prefer a full video example of how all of this works, check out the YouTube video below.
Happy contesting, and let us know if you run into any problems! We’re always happy to help. Go here to submit a Support Ticket.