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Contest Tutorial

February 20, 2014 | 2105 Views

Contest is a plugin that allows your members to create contest and compete with each others in Blog, Photo, Music and Video contests. In this article you will learn how to run and manage a contest on SocialEngine with Contest plugin.

Check out a few contest examples before we jump in:

Why do I need this plugin, you may ask ?

Normally, on an usual social network, users can post videos, write blogs or post photos. And usually, there’s widget showing who’s top blogger and most popular blogs or most liked photos.  However, what they are lacking is the fun of being the top blogger or most popular blog. So now, in order to fill in that blank, contest plugin gives users an option to create contests. A contest could be a video, blog or photo contest and it can have prizes for winners.

Another example, when writting a blog, you just write what’s in your mind, but if you were in a blog contest, you would spend more time and put more effort in writing a blog that has passion, and insight in order to attract more readers. The same applies for video or photo, in order to win, users would spend a lot of time finding the best videos or photos out there to post on your site, which not only enriches your site content, but also increases quality of your social network. If any of those blogs, videos or photos become viral, it can potentially drive more traffic to your social network site.

Hence, having contest plugin on your site seems to be a good idea, but you might be wondering how you can manage those contests and how you can make money on it, this article will show you how. 

How do I create contest and how to submit entries?

A contest is easily to created follow steps below:

  • Navigate to Contest page by clicking on Contest in main menu bar
  • Click on Create new Contest
  • Fill out required fields and Save
  • In the contest setting, tick on  which settings best suit your need and click Save & Continue
  • Next, select how your contest will be published. You can choose either one of the three : Feature, Premium or Ending Soon or all of them, however you like (each one of these has different fee depending on how admin set for each individual member level)
  • Then click Publish. Your Contest has been created and will be available on start date which you have set earlier

Note: users can only submit entries within submit-entry period (which you fill out when you create new Contest). The same as voting.

How to submit an entry in a Contest?

  • In order to submit an entry in a Contest, you must first Join that contest
  • If time for submitting entries has started, you’ll see Submit an entry link on the left column. If not, you’ll have to wait until the start date and time set by owner.
  • Depend on what type of contest, you’ll be asked to submit a blog, video, photo or a song. If you have uploaded something in music or blog or photo plugin, it’ll show a list of all items you have uploaded over the time according to the type of contest  in the Submit Entry  tab.
  • Select an entry, fill out the entry name, and summary then click submit 

Typically as a social network administrator, you probably worry about how to manage content on your site so that you can control what should or should not be kept . So, in response to this question : how do you manage all of those contests? Here’s your answer:  In admin panel, there’s a tab called Manage Contest. This is where you manage all the contest created on your site.

In the two leftmost columns, you can see how much money you make for each contest and type of services that users pay for. Also, you can manually set Featured, Premium or Ending-soon for any contest (of course, there is no charge here because you manually set it). 

Here is another setting that you may want to know about : category. Even though we offer 4 types of contest : music, blogs, videos and photos, it still might not be clear to users what a contest is about. So for category you can create many different categories and sub categories. That way, contest creators can target specific type of users and users know exactly what contest they want to participate in.

Ok, now you know how to manage contests on your site. What coming next is something that you probably care the most. How do I make money ? 

In the Member Level Settings, you can set up fees for each individual member level. For example, for paid users, you might offer it for free and for non-paid users you can charge a small fee for publishing and small fees for other services such as ending-soon, featured or premium. If you just simply want to enrich your site content and make your site more interactive , you can set them all to 0 (which means free). The rest of its settings are pretty much similar to other plugins

Furthermore, if you’re a busy person and you don’t have time to manually approve every contest, you can set Auto-Approve in global setting, which can save you a lot of time if you have too many contests to approve. However, it can lead to people spamming contests, so I recommend using this option only when users have to pay to publish their contest (let’s face it, no one wants to spam if it involves money coming out of their pockets). 

Lastly, Statistics is also useful in managing contest. In this tab, you’ll see information related to contests such as how many contests, entries,  premium, featured etc. And more importantly, you’ll know which features of contests users usually choose so you can reduce the price of other features to bring users’ attention to them.

Payment gateway and transaction are also important for those of you who want to make money on this contest. 

For payment gateway, it’s important to set up your paypal account so that you can receive money from users. Once your payment gateway is setup, users can pay you to publish their contest. Additionally, you can check all transaction by clicking on transaction tab. Here, it’ll display all transactions and help you keep track of your site revenue.

Well, that’s it. This is the end of our tutorial. Hope you find enough information here and if you don’t, you can always ask. Your questions are always welcomed.

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