British Council Uses Social Walls to Attract Students

“Authentic First-Hand Pictures Will Always Resonate Better with Users.”

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university students chatting on the school corridor

The campaign in this showcase is a beautiful example of how easy it is to use the Sponsored Posts feature to connect with users who come to view your social wall and give them tangible information.

Study UK is a global campaign by the British Council promoting the UK as a destination for international students. The programme was launched in 2016 to raise awareness of educational opportunities in the UK. Study UK gives international students advice on how to apply for studying in the UK, information about financial support, visa advice, etc. It also has a University Finder Tool and promotes Alumni success stories on the website and social media.

Recently, Study UK ran a hashtag campaign called Study UK Wall of Fame on Facebook and Instagram. The campaign focused on international student life in the UK, encouraging students to share their experience in visual form.

We talked to Spoon, the agency which ran the #StudyUKwof campaign for Study UK.

What is the primary goal of your #studyukwof campaign, and how are a hashtag and social wall helping you achieve it?

The main goal of the #studyukwof campaign is to show an authentic view of student life in Britain to potential students who might want to study in the UK. By using the social wall which collates real student posts (from international students in the UK), prospective future students can see what life is really like.

Authentic first-hand pictures will always resonate better with users as it helps them see others that are in the same shoes. The wall helps us to connect those first-hand pictures with our target audience.

How are you motivating people to take part in the hashtag campaign?

We’re running it as a competition so the best entries will win a GoPro or a luxury hamper.

Instagram post showing a photo of University of Manchester at night. The caption reads: studyuk_britishcouncil
Our #StudyUKWOF captured what it's like to be an international student studying in the UK 📸 Congratulations to our photo winner @zhsee from @officialuom and runners-up @5481vcr from @durhamuniversity and @_haetaehyun_ from @unisouthwales. Click the link in our bio to see all the photo entries.
Source: Instagram

You’re using sponsored posts to advertise the Study UK services. How did you experience the feature and creating the posts in

The #StudyUKwof social wall, showing Sponsored Posts in pink and orange. The posts are meant to draw attention and encourage users to click through to actionable advice on the Study UK website.

The sponsored posts were easy to set up, and they encourage people to take action. It was important for us to have a distinct feel with the sponsored posts so that they didn’t blend in with the submissions. So we needed a feature that didn’t just look like another post. gave us a short trial with the sponsored posts, which made it easy for us and our client to see how they would work.

How did you come to pick for your campaign?

We picked because it was fully customisable. And when we were still considering which platform to use, it was very easy to get answers through the chat feature on the website.

It was also very easy to customise ourselves and didn’t require any sort of development support. We liked that you could have multiple channels being pulled through into one wall, so all our pictures were in the same place.

Explain your campaign

What I especially like about #StudyUKWOF is the excellent job they did of explaining the campaign. They posted a short video on Instagram that starts with the vital information: “Want to win a GoPro camera or a luxury hamper?” and then goes on to introduce the Wall of Fame competition and shows how easy it is to take part. The video also clearly shows who to tag and what hashtag to use and for how long the competition will be running.

I often notice that many great hashtag campaigns sort of skip this step and leave some users confused, when it’s fairly easy to create a short video or an image explaining the basics, post it to social media or even as a sponsored post on the social wall.

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to take part in your hashtag campaign and competition. Making information easily accessible is a vital part of that.

There are many different ways to use Sponsored Posts. Despite the name of the feature, it’s not only for showing ads from sponsors. You can use these posts for any type of information you want to stand out on your social wall and set it to repeat at specific intervals.

It’s also great if you want to have something on your social wall that doesn’t necessarily make sense to post on your usual social media channels. Sponsored Posts let you bypass Twitter, Instagram, etc. and allow you to post directly to just the social wall.

The Study UK campaign used Sponsored Posts to provide concrete information that international students would need right on the social wall. The Sponsored Posts give them a taste of the services Study UK provides and, ideally, inspire them to find out more by going to the Study UK website.