How to create an advanced photo contest on Facebook (Part 2)

Posted in: Applications,Applications for FacebookLast update: 03/07/20

This is the second part of the tutorial for creating a photo contest with Easypromos. In the first part we explained the essential steps and basic options for setting up a contest. In this post we will look at the advanced settings offered by the Premium and White Label platforms to enable a more efficient management of photo contests. We also give details of the additional features and tools which can be incorporated into advanced contests organized with Easypromos.

This post is outdated. Many of the features and how to configure them have changed. To make sure you get the right information, go to the Tutorial: How to create a Photo Contest.

Here are the settings in Premium and White Label versions that allow you to create an advanced photo contest:

  1. Obtain information about voters
  2. Anti-fraud controls
  3. Contest by category
  4. Pre-moderation of entries
  5. Receive real-time notifications (multi email)
  6. Management of promotion dates
  7. Connect with Twitter and Instagram
  8. Combine photos/videos
  9. Enable comments in the photos
  10. Download participants’ photos in a ZIP file
  11. Customize the entry form with additional fields
  12. Use the winners tool to manage the finalists
  13. Use the tiled gallery layout to organize and display the pictures
  14. Use the Full Screen gallery
  15. Customize the viral content
  16. Viralize the action of voting

Note: If you are following this guide in order to create a photo contest from scratch, we recommend that you first read Part1 of this tutorial, which corresponds to the basic and essential steps for the proper functioning of a photo contest.

Before you begin, would you like to see a DEMO?

See an online DEMO of a photo contest.


1. Obtain information about voters

As administrator of the promotion you have at your disposal, in real time, all the information that Easypromos has about a user who has voted in a contest. You will have the maximum number of tools and the most information with which to analyze users and participation patterns in your contest. You will obtain data as their name and surname, email and date of voting.

Learn more about which information will you obtain about voting users and how to download to a CVS or Excel file.

2. Anti-fraud controls

If voting contests are one of the most effective ways of increasing a page’s fanbase, votes can also arouse suspicions because it’s common, within the massive environment that is Facebook, that there be some users who obtain a high number of votes in a short space of time. With Easypromos we can assure you that all the votes generated in a contest come from users who are registered on Facebook.

Nonetheless, in the past year, three scenarios have evolved within Facebook which affect voting contests. If you wish to see an illustrated summary of the common practices in voting contests, consult this infographic.

These types of practices carried out by some users can generate a great deal of noise between participants and, to avoid these types of situations, the golden rule is to never give the prize to the most-voted user.

With the aim of helping administrators organize top-quality contests, in Easypromos Premium and White Label we offer a series of techniques and tools to help minimize the impact of all these bad practices. Below we outline the principal techniques available in the Easypromos platform for discouraging fraud in voting contests:

  • Filter by country. We’ve seen that when vote exchanging occurs, the majority of votes exchanged come from outside the country in which the promotion is held. One of the first and most effective measures for preventing vote exchanges is to make it so that only users from one specified country can enter a contest or vote for entries.
  • Maximum number of votes/entries per browser/IP. This option allows you to limit the number of times a user can vote from the same computer. This control acts as a barrier against those who might try to vote multiple times from the same computer using multiple accounts.
  • IP frequency control system. This option enables you to limit the number of seconds after which the same IP can vote again for the same entry. This technique acts as a barrier against those who might try to use multiple accounts to vote for the same entry. More information.
  • Limit votes to friends of the participant. With vote exchanges, users are not normally Facebook friends of the participant. This filter is therefore another effective barrier.
  • Minimum number of friends. This option ensures that only users with a minimum number of Facebook friends can vote in a contest. Those users who do not reach this minimum requirement will not be allowed to vote. The average Facebook user has more than 50 friends. It is therefore better not to accept votes from users with less than 10 friends.
  • Verified users. A user who has verified his/her Facebook account is obviously more likely to be a real person. This measure limits the impact of those Facebook accounts without a real identity behind them. More information.

What do we at Easypromos recommend? The best solution in voting contests is to never give the prize to the most-voted entrant, but to use one of these three techniques instead:

  • Choose the winner from among the 10 most-voted or via a jury.
  • Carry out a sweepstakes among those who have obtained a minimum of 20 votes.
  • Assign additional entries for each vote obtained.

If you would like to see a summary of common practices in contests, and the anti-fraud techniques available in Easypromos, consult this infographic.

Consult the complete guide to fraud control in voting and recruiting contests.

3. Contest by categories

Whether you want to organize a photo, video or story contest, you can frame the contest within different categories (nature, sport, leisure, etc.) in such a way as to enable the user to decide which category to participate in.

Once the contest image gallery is published it is possible to filter the entries by category so as to see and vote for the photos within their category groupings:


You will be able to create different categories of the contest using the system of dropdown lists, which will permit the user to easily choose one of the categories from the list.

4. Pre-moderation of entries

To control the quality and content of photos sent by participants, the administrator has a series of tools which permit him/her to moderate and validate entries, even before they are made public. These moderating tools are:

  • Confirm participation before publishing. The administrator can validate the photos manually before they appear in the contest’s gallery. This permits the administrator to pre-screen the content of the photos to ensure they are apt and fulfill the promotion’s requirements.
  • Edit an entry. The administrator can edit any information related to the user’s entry (for example, in the case of a wrongly uploaded file, the administrator can upload the photo again without having to delete the entry). Available options are: edit, publish, unpublish, delete, and rotate photo.

We explain all the options available in this link.

5. Receive notifications in real time (multi email)

The administrator can receive an email notifying them of the most recent users registered in the promotion. In this way, from their mobile device, they can check the latest photos entered by users, thus speeding up the moderation process. This option also permits administrators to keep constantly informed about contest activities; they can take advantage of this to be proactive with users, interacting with them more quickly and directly.

We explain how to activate the notifications by email in the following link.

6. Management of promotion dates

In the Premium and White Label versions the administrator has total control of the promotion dates, and can define different dates for the publication of the promotion, the entry period and even the voting period. The administrator has control over the following dates:

  • Start date/end date of the publication. This date determines when the promotion is visible in the contest tab.
  • Start date/end date of entry. Determine the period during which the users can enter the promotion.
  • Start date/end date for voting. Determine the period during which users can vote (always and only when the voting system has been activated).

The possibility to define dates independently from each other allows the administrator to carry out contests by phases; that means being able to establish a first phase for uploading photos and then, once the registration period is over, to begin the voting phase.

Would you like to see an example of a contest carried out in phases? Check the success story of the Bruguer video contest.

7. Link to Twitter and Instagram

With the objective of improving the users’ experience, in both the Premium and White Label versions, the administrator can enable the Twitter and Instagram module in photo contests. In the case of setting up a video contest, this can also be linked with the Instagram platform. This complements the contests as it allows fans to take part not just via Facebook, but via their Twitter or Instagram accounts too.

To do this, the administrator can specify a #hashtag for the contest, with which the users must tag their photos. All photos marked with this tag are imported automatically to the contest’s image gallery.

To learn how to set up the Twitter/Instagram module, consult this tutorial.

8. Combine photos/videos

To give more freedom of choice to participants, the administrator can configure it so that users may enter by uploading a photo or, if they prefer, indicating the URL of a YouTube or Vimeo video. In this way it will be possible to find photos and videos from the same promotion in the contest’s image gallery. We explain how to set up this option in the following link.

Also, you can ask to upload graphic media to complement a text contest, but make images optional.

9. Enable comments in the photos

In photo, video and text contests, administrators have the possibility to enable comments in the entries, allowing anyone – friend or acquaintance – to comment on the individual entry of the users who have entered the promotion:

The user who comments on an entry can also publish the comment to the wall of his/her personal profile, giving maximum visibility to the Facebook promotion and generating greater user interaction.

10. Download participants’ photos in a ZIP file

Once the contest is finalized, the administrator can recover all the photos that have been uploaded to the application by participants. With just one click, he/she can download a ZIP file with all the images submitted by the users.

Note: The ZIP file includes the image ‘large’ format, which has a maximum width of 700px.

For more information about how to download photos in a ZIP file, consult this step-by-step tutorial.

11. Customize the entry form with additional fields

Depending on the type of contest that the administrator wishes to organize, he/she can completely customize the entry form, based on which details are required of participants.

As well as the predefined fields (name, email, city, etc.) in the Premium and White Label versions, the entry form can be configured with additional fields, requiring extra information from the users. These fields can take the form of dropdown lists or checkboxes. To enable these fields to adapt to the objectives and mechanisms of each promotion, the administrator can define which are optional for the user and whether or not the content is made public.

Discover all the options for customizing the entry form.

12. Use the winners tool to manage the finalists

Our recommendation for photo contests is to never give the prize to the most-voted user. The techniques that obtain the best results in voting contests are: using an internal jury, holding a sweepstakes among users who obtain a minimum number of votes, and holding a sweepstakes in which the number of entries given corresponds with the number of votes.

The winners tool provided by Easypromos allows you to easily manage these three options:

  1. Filter the finalists by number of votes: this filter allows you to enter those users who have obtained the minimum number of votes into the sweepstakes with just one click.
  2. Management of additional entries: You can provide extra sweepstakes entries to users based on the number of votes they’ve obtained.
  3. Random sweepstakes with a certificate of validity. The winners tool permits you to carry out the random sweepstakes among selected finalists, together with their additional entries. You can choose any number of winners and alternates you like and, once the sweepstakes is over, a certificate of validity will be sent, confirming that the sweepstakes has been carried out 100% randomly, via the Easypromos platform.

Discover all the options available with our winners tool.

13. Use the tiled gallery layout to organize and display the pictures

One of the main aspects in a photo contest are the images sent by the users who take part in the competition, which are displayed in the contest gallery. In Premium and White Label versions administrators have the possibility to utilize a second layout to show and organize the photos sent by the entrants. The tiled gallery layout display the pictures in the gallery by placing and fitting them in the space available, as if it were a brick wall.

When enabling the tiled gallery layout for the contest, users who visit the gallery will be able to change the view, so that they can decide to view the pictures in vertical format or using the tiled layout, as we show on the image below:


Discover how to organize and display the pictures of the contest using the tiled gallery layout.

14. Use the Full Screen Gallery

If you have a space with a screen or projector, you can enable the gallery in Full Screen mode to project real-time images sent by all participants on a screen or monitor. The gallery allows you to combine photos and texts, and it is prepared to project on high-resolution monitors, so it becomes the ideal complement to dynamize events, celebrations, conferences, booth faire, etc.

Discover for yourself how images are displayed in the Full Screen Gallery.

15. Customize the viral content

Easypromos has a viral system which is 100 % configurable to display various messages depending on the type of promotion, and the application will display on each screen different ways to share and disseminate the promotion in the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

In order that the participant can easily share their photo and spread it quickly among their friends, the administrator can define that the different ‘Share’ buttons available in the promotion share the picture of the participant. To do this, you can customize the viral content of this publication (title and description), and the image of this publication will be the participant’s own photo.

We show below an example of how the participation of a user is shared:

Customize viral content

Discover how to set up the viral content so that users can easily share their entries.

16. Viralize the action of voting

In order that voters users can easily share the entry of the friend in different social networks, after voting one of the pictures of the contest, a window will be opened showing a thank you for voting message together with the buttons to share the participation. From the administration panel the administrator can customize the message that appears to the user after voting one of the entries of the contest, to thank them for the vote and, at the same time, encourage users to share the entry of the friend:

Discover how to customize the thank you message displayed to voters.

Carles Bonfill

Easypromos CEO and co-funder

Publication date: 2013-11-20