Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question?

We have some answers!

These FAQs provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding sweepstakes and other digital promotions, as well as legal concerns. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, start a chat with us or email us at

  • What is the difference between a sweepstakes and a contest?

    A sweepstakes is based completely on chance. A contest has official rules, outlining criteria for how the winner is chosen, defined legally as a “game of skill.”

  • Should I run a sweepstakes or a contest?

    This depends on your marketing goal. Sweepstakes are a great acquisition engine. The grand prize attracts new users to register, and current customers to share with friends. Contests engage your audience further by having an extra step of engagement. This could be a voting phase or a hashtag component.

  • What are best practices for running a social media contest or giveaway?

    It is important to keep in mind that along with state or national laws, each social network has unique terms of use. We make it easy to run social media contests by helping you navigate the policies of each network, drafting the official rules, and setting up any hashtag pullers you may need.

  • Is my sweepstakes compliant in all 50 states?

    In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sets regulations for running sweepstakes and contests, as well as preventing illegal lotteries. At Realtime Media, we can handle every detail for writing your official rules.

  • Is bonding and registration required for my sweepstakes?

    Sweepstakes bonding and registration is determined by the prize value. This is handled on a per-state basis, generally for sweepstakes with a total prize pool exceeding $5,000 dollars. Just give us a call and we can handle your sweepstakes official rules and bond and register as your official ‘Administrator’.

  • What are the legal requirements for offering a promotion to minors?

    Similar to alcohol regulations online, Realtime Media works with you and your team to determine the target audience that will be interacting with your promotion. Then, we will deploy an age gate if necessary.

  • Are full official rules and legal disclaimers required for every promotion?

    Yes. Official Rules (and in some cases) Terms & Conditions are required for every promotion that your brand runs. This fulfills legal requirements set forth, letting all entrants know the eligibility, timing, and legitimacy of the promotion. Without official rules in place, your brand could face fines from the FTC.

  • What’s an instant win game?

    Instant win games are great for driving repeat engagement with your brand. Realtime Media ensures no-risk prizing using a time-seeded algorithm to randomly award prizes throughout the promotion. You can see our pre-built games here. Or we can custom-develop any game you can think of.

  • What’s PromoPick?

    If you need to launch a promotion asap, PromoPick allows you to select from any one of our sweepstakes or UGC gallery layouts, and optionally add an instant win game. Just choose which one fits you and we will have it ready to launch in as little as 5 days.

  • Can I design my own digital promotion?

    Absolutely! You know what’s best for your company, you dream the idea and we will build it! We love talking promotions, so get in touch with us and we can discuss the idea you have in mind and how it fits into your goals.