25 Tweets to send before Christmas #SocialAdvent 2016

Today's challenge: Christmannequin

The Advent period does not need to be all about chocolate you know (though it can't hurt to have some chocolate every day 🍫 😋). Instead, we can have lots of fun online while delivering a really strong and engaging marketing campaign.

Yes, the #SocialAdvent Challenge is back for 2016! 

Every day we are going to be setting a different challenge. So, for 25 days you will have something new to share on Twitter. The idea is that you will be able to share things that your communities will be interested in. It also helps you get into a rhythm of tweeting (and will hopefully inspire you too!). 

To take part, and be in for a chance to win infamy, post your Tweets using #SocialAdvent. You will be able to follow along and find inspiring content from other schools. We will be monitoring #SocialAdvent every day and picking our favourite Tweets for each badge.


Make sure you check back here each day to see all the winners and the challenge of the day.


Day 1

DAY 1 WINNER: @Tormead_JS 🏆

Day 2

DAY 2 WINNER: @BIS_School_eV 🏆

Day 3

DAY 3 WINNER: @GFSWoking 🏆

Day 4

DAY 4 WINNER: @NotreDameCobham 🏆

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25



Check out what happened in 2015:

We want to make this our most successful #SocialAdvent Challenge yet - best of luck to everyone taking part 😃


Download and print off a copy of your #SocialAdvent Calendar. [DOWNLOAD]

Get ready for #SocialAdvent 2016 🎅

Each year, schools all around the world share their inspiring #SchoolStories throughout December. Each day there's a new challenge to tackle and share with your community. We call it #SocialAdvent.

Will you be taking part? Last year, schools taking part reached over 2 million people.


The #SocialAdvent Challenge 2016

December has been a firm favourite at @intSchools HQ for the past three years, following the great fun we've had running our #SocialAdvent challenge. This year we are looking to make the challenge our greatest one yet, with a record number of participants across a global audience.

To make it extra special, our creative elves have been hard at work - coming up and designing a bigger, better and refreshed #SocialAdvent challenge to spread festive marketing cheer this December. 

So, without further ado we have this year's #SocialAdvent to share out now! 🎄

What do I do?

The rules couldn't be simpler - each day we will ask you to do a festive challenge using social media. This could be posting your favourite Christmas joke or creating a time lapse video. Everything is shared on Twitter using #SocialAdvent as a hashtag. At the end of each day we'll have a look at all the Tweets and pick a daily winner. 

Use the link above and print off a full-size version of the #SocialAdvent calendar. It is not too soon to start planning each day 😉.

What do I win?

Pride. Glory. Your school's immortalisation behind a #SocialAdvent window. Everything you could ever want!

What's new?

For those who took part last Christmas you may notice a few minor changes. We wanted to keep the essence of the challenge the same, since last year was just so successful, but update it to meet the social media demands and trends of 2016.

We have added in a few new challenges that we know you will love:

  • GIFt-wrapped: Create a festive GIF and share
  • Pin Up!: Create a festive Pinterest Board showcasing your school
  • Christmannequin: Record an amazing Christmas themed #MannequinChallenge
  • A Little Bitmotional: Create a Bitmoji of your Head and share some Bitmoji Snaps
  • Snap, Crackle, Faceswap: Get onto Snapchat and share some hilarious Faceswaps!
  • Reindeer Ready: Schedule an interesting Merry Christmas Tweet
  • Festive Moments: Create a Twitter Moment that sums up your school's #SocialAdvent 2016!

What happened in 2015?

Last year was incredible fun and highly engaging for the schools who took part. In fact, the entire #SocialAdvent event reached over 2 million people on Twitter!

That is a simply amazing level of engagement you can earn your school, while having lots of fun! 

...of Impressions, Likes & RT's for your school.

...of Impressions, Likes & RT's for your school.

You can read a recap of 2015's #SocialAdvent Challenge here - and make sure you check out the #SocialAdvent 2015 Twitter Moments ⚡️ below.

They can also be viewed on Twitter here:


We'll see you Dec 1st ❄️

Today means that there is exactly ONE WEEK to get planning and prepared for the 1st day of the Advent.

Best of luck to everyone. We hope to see old friends and new 😄 

The @intSchools #SocialAdvent challenge

It has reached that odd part of November where Christmas enthusiasts really start gearing up for Christmas, and Christmas traditionalists gawp at all the festivities coming down the chimney a month too early.

Regardless of your stance on when Christmas should start, planning in an effective seasonal marketing campaign is an incredible way to get lots of engagement. Of course, having enough content to do this can be difficult to arrange. This is why, for the past three years, we have run our #SocialAdvent challenge. 

A sneak peak of this year's challenges - can you guess what they might be?

A sneak peak of this year's challenges - can you guess what they might be?

What is the #SocialAdvent Challenge?

The aim of the game is simple - each day we will Tweet out a challenge for your school to take part in. This could be anything from posting a short festive video from the Head or putting your carolling skills to the test. At the end of the day we will pick a winner and add them to our #SocialAdvent calendar.

Last year's winners

Why take part?

For one, it is LOTS of fun! There's a real buzz in the office atmosphere whenever the #SocialAdvent period comes up. Not only do we get to take part ourselves (lead by example) but we get to to see all the creative and hilarious acts you Tweet out to the world. 

The second, key reason, is: it gets GREAT engagement. Not only will your parents, pupils, teachers and prospectives like, RT and reply to your posts it will drive engagement out to new people. How? This event uses a simple #SocialAdvent hashtag - so if 30 schools are doing this daily and using this one hashtag across all their posts the audience it can reach goes way up. Obviously this number goes up exponentially the more schools that are involved!

You couldn't ask for a better 25 days to make new connections!

The third reason is: you will ✨STAND OUT✨ in the marketing game. Of course you want lots of engagement from your audience, but they key to take away from this is after that engagement has been and gone you want to stick in your audiences' mind! This event is one such way to effectively work towards that. 


Last year, there were over 2 million impressions on the #SocialAdvent hashtag. On our own account, we had 191.7K impressions. Impressive stuff!

1.7% was the average engagement rate per #SocialAdvent tweet, when 0.07% is the average engagement rate for the top 25 brands.

And when $35 billion was spent on social media advertising in 2016,  it's worth considering that #SocialAdvent is FREE!

Finally, 200+ schools and school leaders took part on #SocialAdvent 2015 - can we beat it this year?

#SocialAdvent 2015

Last year was by far our most successful, and we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to those schools who took part. This would not work without you guys so thank you 😆.

Last year, @NotreDameCobham kicked off #SocialAdvent with this festive message!

We have created a two-part Twitter Moment⚡️ to commemorate last year's challenge. They can be viewed on Twitter here:


Looks like lots of fun right? We have come up with a few new ideas for this year's challenge, and are massively looking forward to some #socialmedia creativity.

We hope to see you all taking part come December 1st.

The beginner's guide to Snapchat

Somewhere along the way, when we were building social media products, we forgot the reason we like to communicate with our friends is because it’s fun
— Evan Spiegel, Snapchat CEO

Snapchat is now a household name and one of the hottest social media among young people. It is now battling hard for second place as the most popular social media channel for teenagers, with only Facebook as the only channel that can beat it hands down. 

So, just how popular is Snapchat?

  • 9,000 pictures sent every second on Snapchat 
  • 150 million daily active users 
  • over 200 million users
  • 10 billion daily video views 
  • 70% of users are under 30 years of age 
  • 60% of users contribute content daily
  • Average user spends 30 minutes per day on app

Why is it so important that we understand it?  

200 million people is a lot of people!

200 million people is a lot of people!

The first reason everyone needs to understand Snapchat is because of the substantial growth.

It is the 15th most popular social network in the world but every single stat, graph and chart you will see, shows Snapchat very much on the rise. Right now 18% of all social media users are using Snapchat.

The channel is going mainstream. Meaning: adults (yes, not just kids!) are using Snapchat, and the rate of this is rapidly increasing.

The History 

Snapchat was created by three Stanford University students, Bobby Murphy; Reggie Brown; and Evan Spiegel, as part of a project. 

In their first blog post, the company describes their mission:

"Snapchat isn't about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It's about communicating with the full range of human emotion—not just what appears to be pretty or perfect." 

Snapchat was designed as the solution to stresses caused by the longevity of personal information on social media, evidenced by "emergency detagging of Facebook photos before job interviews and photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots before they hit the internet"

26 year old CEO, Evan Spiegel, is now worth a small fortune and his company, Snap Inc., even more so. Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for a whopping $3 billion back in 2013 but Spiegel rejected having faith in his own brand. It seems to have been the right move.

Why is Snapchat so popular? 

As Snapchat said in their first ever company blog, it's not just about what is pretty or perfect. Snapchat wanted to make social fun again and remove the worries of presenting yourself on social media. 

Snapchat uses ephemeral messaging.

Ephemeral messaging is the mobile-to-mobile transmission of multimedia messages (photo or video) which disappear from the recipient's screen after the message has been viewed. 

The basic gist of Snapchat and what is so appealing about it is...

You send a temporary message. You get to send a real moment. Once the moment is viewed it is 'gone forever'.

Snapchat is a 'true' social network. Other social channels such as Instagram are often very 'staged' and image based, which can put pressure on young people. Snapchat captures real moments and takes away the fear of leaving comments on posts and getting paranoid about one's appearance. 

There can be dangers of ephemeral messaging!

It's important that we educate children on the risks of trusting ephemeral messaging. 

  1. Users can still screenshot messages you send: When somebody does this you will receive a notification. So make sure to send nothing incriminating or nothing private. Advise children to use it as they would do any other social network and to not take risks.
  2. Third Party Apps: There are third party apps in circulation which can record messages that you receive from users. Again it's important to teach children that Ephemeral messaging is not quite as it seems.

Snapchat is sometimes referred to as the "sexting app". This is a misconception of Snapchat. Yes, sexting happens, but it is 0.000001% (a guesstimate!) of the content.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that it isn't the focus for teens, but like any media-sharing, Snapchat can be used for sexting, harassment etc.

It's important to emphasise to children that ephemeral is not as completely temporary as it may seem. However, many children will understand this and Snapchat has got unfair press based on a misunderstanding of the channel.

So how do I use Snapchat?


One of the many great things about Snapchat is that it is super easy to use! The simplicity and the fun of it is what makes it such a great social network. 

There is no need to fear! We have a step to step guide on how to use Snapchat just for you :) 

The set up

1. Download and sign up: Snapchat can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS devices. Once you have it installed, open it on your phone. You'll have the option to login with an existing account or create a new one.

2. Create an account / Username:  After entering your email address, password and birthday, tap the "Sign Up" button. You need to be at least 13 years old to use Snapchat.

You will not be able to change your Snapchat username! This may change in the future but for now be super careful when selecting your unique username :) your username must be under 30 characters. 


3. Prove you're human: Snapchat will prompt you to verify your phone number via SMS. Verifying your number allows you to reset your password via text, but is not necessary to create an account. Snapchat will require you to select the correct images before your account is created.


4. Add friends (optional): Snapchat will scan your phone's address book to look for other people who are using Snapchat. You can skip this if you'd like by tapping "Continue" and then "Not Allow."

Hooray you are now on Snapchat! 

Using Snapchat 


The main screen

Here is the main interface of Snapchat. This is where where you will take your photos and videos. The red notification below signifies that you have been sent a message. The purple notification signifies a friend has posted a "snapchat story".

From the main screen you can click or swipe to the desired area. 

TIP: the camera / larger circle icon at the bottom-middle will take you back to the main screen from any area of Snapchat.

Ghost icon / Swipe ⬇️

Consider this your basic admin page. Here you can make changes to your name and profile pic, as well as view friends or add new ones. 

Add friends by Snapcode

  1. Capture your friend’s Snapcode. Take a picture of your friend’s Snapcode and open the app.

  2. Tap on the ghost icon.

  3. Go to Add Friends. Then select “By Snapcode.” You can also add by username if you know their username.

  4. Add your friend’s Snapcode. Select the photo of the Snapcode from your album. You can also scan Snapcodes from within the Snapchat app.

Accept a friend request

  1. Open the Snapchat app. The ghost icon will be yellow if someone has added you.

  2. Tap the yellow ghost icon. If you have a friend request, the icon will be yellow.

  3. Go to your profile. In your profile screen, tap on Added me.

  4. Confirm your friendship. Tap the ‘+’ sign next to their name to add them back.


Chat icon / Swipe ⬅️

This area is to view all your current chats. There are a few variations of the icons you will see on this page: box icons with full colour indicate that your snaps are delivered, while the box icon with a border colour means that your snaps have been sent. Red means the Snap does not contain audio and purple means that it does.

Memories icon (Smaller Circle) / Swipe ⬆️

Memories is the best, and only way, to save your Snaps so you can view them anytime in the future. When you first open Memories click Start using Memories, to agree to terms and conditions. Memories can be made public for your friends or for your eyes only.

Stories icon (triangle) / Swipe ➡️

A Snapchat story is a photo or video you post to your very own stories section, which is visible by you and all your friends. Your friends' stories will appear under Recent Updates. 

Stories live for 24 hours and can be viewed again and again for that period. This means that you can get get a bit more longevity out of your snaps. Once the 24-hour time limit is up, they are automatically deleted.

When you post a story, your friends will see it appear in their stories section. All users can configure their privacy settings so that their stories can be viewed by anyone on Snapchat, just friends or even a customised group of users.

The art of the Snap

Obviously Snaps are the name of the game - and you'd be surprised how much fun they can be to take, thanks to all the filters Snapchat has integrated. Snaps are taken from the main screen (remember you can return to this screen from any other by clicking on the larger - or Capture - circle). 

  • To take a picture, tap the capture button
  • To take a video, hold the capture button down and a red marker will appear to indicate that it’s recording.
  • If you don’t like the photo or video, tap the ‘X’ icon in the top left corner to discard and try again.
  • To take a selfie, flip the camera on your screen by tapping the camera icon in the top right corner or double-tapping anywhere on the screen.

Customising the Snap

You have the following options that can overlay your photo or video at the top of your screen:

  • Stickers (square icon that resembles a sticky note): Add stickers from Snapchat library or create a personal Bitmoji sticker if you’re feeling adventurous
  • Caption (‘T’ icon): Write out a message for your friends with text
  • Doodle (pencil icon): Try out Snapchat’s drawing tool
  • Swipe left to add coloured filters, local time and weather, speed overlays, or Geofilters (location based stickers or overlays for your Snap)

Examples of some created Geofilters (currently live on Snapchat)

  • Lenses: Press and hold down on the screen where your face is (if it’s a selfie) or your friend’s face (if it’s with the front-facing camera). Lenses will pop up at the bottom. These will change over time and you will often find season related Lenses to play with. Take note of the on-screen prompts -  these will include instructions such as open your mouth or raise your eyebrows

Additional Snap options

You can change a few basic settings by playing about with the options, at the bottom of your screen:

  • Timing (clock icon): Select the amount of time that your Snap will be viewed
  • Download (downward arrow icon): You can save your Snaps - choose to save Snaps to your phone’s camera roll, Memories, or both

Send Snap

When you’re ready to send, click the blue arrow icon on the bottom of the screen. Simply choose the contact (or contacts) you’d like to send the Snap to by checking the box beside their name. When your message is sent, the app will change to the Feed screen. You can see a delivered arrow showing that your Snap has been sent.


Nailed it...NOW GO SNAP!

Snapchat is a great little app and lots of fun. Understanding how it works is important if you want to stay ahead of the game and appreciate how younger people are using social media nowadays. 

We hope that this beginners guide has been a great help. If you have any questions about Snapchat we are here to help - just post in the comments below! Thank you.

How to set up Twitter Moments for your school

Back in 2015 Twitter released a new feature called Moments. This was Twitter's answer to the incredibly short lifespan of the average Tweet - barely minutes before it's drowned out by the 6,000 or so Tweets seen every second - and a way for users to collect and share easily missed content.