I often get asked what the ideal option is for creating a local ‘best of’ promotion. Generally these promotions are created for your listeners to submit and/or vote on their favorite local things, like restaurants, coffee shops, book stores etc.
Below is how I would use the SoCast tools to create one of these.
Step #1: Create A Form For Submissions
The first step is creating a way for your community to submit their suggestions on who should be included in the final voting list. For this, you’ll want to use our new forms system.
In my form I’ve included an email address field (which is not technically needed, but could be useful for follow-up) and then used the ‘input’ field for each submission line. I’ve also included the ‘Captcha’ field to prevent bots from submitting, and to add additional security to the form.
Make sure the settings for your form are filled out before publishing, such as the email address the form submissions will be sent to.
Step #2: Create A Page For Your Promotion
My next step would be to create a page for this promotion, you can add sponsor images, text, and pretty much any other widget you like!
Make sure to add the ‘Forms’ widget, and select the form you made in step one. Once your page is ready, click publish, and make sure to share the link out, or add it to your website’s navigation bar.
Step #3: Analyze Your Form Submissions
As the form entries come in, you’ll need to keep track internally of what is being submitted. You can go to Forms > Submissions, and filter by form, and export a CSV of the entries, which you could organize in a spreadsheet.
Once you have decided on your top 5 or 10 options for each category, move to the next step!
Step #4: Create Polls So Your Listeners Can Vote
My next step would be to use our Polls tool, and create a poll for each category. For example, I would create a poll for “Favorite Coffee Shops”, and then add my top 5 coffee shops as the options to be voted on.
I would do this same process over for my ‘favorite book stores’, ‘favorite restaurants’ etc.
Once your polls are all created and published, you’ll want to go back to the page you made in Step #2.
Step #5: Add Your Polls To Your Promotion Page
Here you will remove the form widget you added (because we no longer need it) and you’ll add all the polls you created instead.
I’d recommend creating a row, and dividing it up into halves or thirds. From there, you’ll want to use the poll widget, and add 1 poll widget per section.
Don’t forget to choose for each poll widget, whether you want to publicly display results as percentages or votes, and whether to display them before or after submission or never. I’d choose never, so they can’t tell which option is leading, and so you can display the final results at a later date.
Make sure to update the page, and then you can collect your final results by going back to the ‘polls’ tab, clicking into each poll, and seeing the vote tally for each option added.
From there, you’ll want to display the final results, so you’ll go back to your promotions page you made, remove all the polls, and add the results via the text widget. Or if it was me, I’d probably make something visual like image cards, with the help of Canva or another design tool, that had my logo and branding on it. Something they can save/download and share to their social media.
Tip: Don’t forget to create a graphic for your feature rotator on your homepage, and link it to your promotion page, so listeners can find your promotion easily, and be redirected.
If you have any questions or require assistance, please reach out to the support team, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kat & The SoCast Team