8 Ways to win: Making votes count in the Hot 50 and Hot 30 rankings

August 27, 2013 |

How do the winners do it to succeed in the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy or 30 Hottest Companies in Biobased Chemicals and Materials?

Over the next few weeks, several thousand friends and supporters of various bioenergy companies will be voting, Tweeting, Liking and Photo Voting in behalf of their favorite companies — while a panel of invited international selectors also weighs in with their view.


Attempts to influence the outcome abound in creativity. There was the CEO of a large and established biobased company who voted for his team 300 times in one morning. There was the penny stock enthusiast who took out 19 subscriptions to the Digest using a combination of false names based on baseball Hall of Famers, and faked Hotmail accounts, in search of a vote-multiplier. So we had votes one morning from Stan Mantle, Hank Mays, Ted Musial, Joe Aaron and Willie DiMaggio, among others.

But, how do you actually win?

Here are 8 things you can do to maximize your results in the voting.

1. Industry Partners.

Every company has partners — for R&D or testing, the town and region where you are building a plant, or for services such as engineering, enzymes, gasifiers, catalysts and more. There’s a parallel competition going on right now for Industry Partners — and every time a company that has registered partners gets a vote, everyone of those partners gets a vote, too.

For example, your enzyme supplier. They might supply 3 companies. If they’ve registered all 8 of those relationships, every time each company gets a vote, the enzyme partner gets a vote too. So, if Company A had 300 votes, Company B had 400 votes and Company C had 500 votes, the Partner would earn 1200 votes in the Hottest Industry Partners competition.

There are R&D partners, Supply Chain Partners and Places (such as a state or city) competing for recognition. No matter how big or small your favorite companies, they probably have powerful partners who can generate a lot of support for your faves, and help themselves in the process!

2. Groups.

Join the Bioenergy by Biofuels Digest LinkedIn group, or other groups at LinkedIn, Facebook and elsewhere. Bombing a group with self-promotion is a definite no-no, but a brief introductory note is never in bad taste.

The Digest LinkedIn group is more than 7,000 members — an great, free resource for spreading the word. In LinkedIn as in life: givers gain, so go to a group asking not what they can do for you, but what you can do for them.

3. Facebook.

It’s useful for more than keeping up with friends and family. Every time you (or your colleagues) “Like” your nominee page at biofuelsdigest.com, it adds a vote in the Hot 50 or Hot 30 competition. Plus — it will alert your Facebook “friends” to the rankings, and they may decide to “Like” you too. That’s an easy vote multiplier.

4. Twitter.

As with Facebook, every time you “Tweet” your nominee page at biofuelsdigest.com, it adds a vote in the Hot 50 or Hot 30 competition. Plus — it will alert your Twitter “followers” to the rankings, and they may decide to “Tweet” you too. That’s an easy vote multiplier – but remember, ReTweets don’t count.

5. Photo Voting.

New this year is photo voting. Because it is new, and involves a little extra work, each photo vote counts for five votes this year. So, it can be a big vote multiplier. All you have yo do is take a photo that has, somewhere in it, the name of the company you are voting for, and the words “hot 50” or “Hot 30” in it. Email those to [email protected] and [email protected], and they’ll be posted on the nominee pages throughout the competition.

6. Subscriber voting.

Many of your friends and supporters are subscribers to the Biofuels Digest newsletter. They can each submit their ballots – in addition to any social media activity they (or you) engage in. Those ballots count for huge votes – make sure everyone who has a ballot, votes. You’d be surprised how close the voting is – one year, the difference between #1 and #2 was only two votes.

7. Selector voting.

The most powerful voice in the competition are the 100 invited international selectors – each one of them controls 0.5%, each, of the total vote, because the invited Selectors control 50% of the total vote. The Digest does not reveal the identity of Selectors — but they may tell you, themselves. Make sure they vote – with their busy travel schedules, sometimes Selectors don’t get their ballot in on time – make sure you supporters set aside the time, early. Also, making sure that you are keeping visible during the balloting process, is a good idea. If you have news coming out in the next 30-60 days, prioritize to get it out, now.

8. Write-ins.

Ooops, you didn’t win a nomination this year. You’ll have to work harder, but with social media voting, nothing is impossible, especially if you have fans among the invited Selectors. The most important thing you can do is to make sure you are distributing correct instructions for write in votes to your fiends and colleagues. Especially, make sure they understand the voting rules, so that you don;t find yourself disqualified due to excessive zeal from supporters.

The Bottom Line

It’s all about engaging your supporters to bring your favorite organization more into the light. The most important group you can engage are your partners — they are a “force multiplier” bar none, and they can help themselves in their own Industry Partners competition by supporting their customers and friends.

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