Run a Photo Contest on your Facebook Page with ShortStack

Photo Contest with ShortStack









**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)

Create Promotion Form

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:

Photo Upload Fields

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:

You might also note the new checkbox for hiding the form after submission:

Select contest form


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).

Voting Widget

Select the Promotion Form database you just created in step 1 from the dropdown under Basic Options
Select contest form


Entry Selection and Sorting

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.


Choose Layout

Voting Layout Options

• 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.


Voting Settings

Voting Setup

“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


Advanced Options

Advanced Voting Options

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

Contest Entries

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.



11 Responses to Run a Photo Contest on your Facebook Page with ShortStack
  1. Sophie Reply

    What if the three brand-spanking-new fields on the Form Designer for Photo support in step 1 aren’t there??? I’d love to be able to do this but those fields just aren’t showing up!! Please help!

    • Ben Reply

      Hi Sophie – the Photo fields and Photo Contesting is only available if you have form database access, which is limited to our paid plans. I’ll go ahead and try to make this a bit more clear in the blog post – thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  2. James Williams Reply


    Do you have an app that allows users to submit photos for a contest?



    • Dana Reply

      Hi James, sorry for the delay in replying to your query. We definitely do. I’ve attached a link to some examples of how some of our users have used our apps. Scroll down the bottom for an example of a photo contest: If you have questions about other features and how to get started, shoot us an email: Cheers, Dana

  3. Tino Reply

    Well done, thank you!

  4. Peter Billing Reply

    How many images can you upload per entry?

    • Sara Piccola Reply

      Hi @facebook-610676653:disqus, sorry for the late response this is an older blog post and our platform has been upgraded since we wrote this, however, you can only upload one image at a time. You can make it so people can upload an unlimited amount of times if you want people to be able to upload more than one photo into a contest.

  5. Wood Worx Reply

    I too want to know how many images can you upload per entry?

    • Sara Piccola Reply

      Hi @wood_worx:disqus, sorry for the late response on this, this is an older blog post and the platform has been updated since this was written but you can only upload one image at a time. You can set it up so that fans can enter more than once if you want to allow them to upload multiple photos. Thanks! -Sara

  6. Ushan Arya Reply

    Where can I see some live page which are using the widget?

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