Freedom of Information releases

Spend on social media advertising

Spend on social media advertising: FOI response (reference 4942)

Date received

09 January 2022

Date responded

17 February 2022

Information requested

For each of the following periods 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22: The total spend by the organisation on social media advertising, including a breakdown by year and by form of social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)


The total spend on social media advertising for each year is provided in the following table:

April 2019 to March 2020    
FACEBOOK £136,507.50 £17,444.00
LINKEDIN £12,332.50 £4,568.00
TWITTER £24,094.17 £8,270.00
Total £172,924.17 £30,282.00
April 2020 to March 2021    
FACEBOOK £79,800.00 £55,552.00
LINKEDIN (including inmails) £1,212,279.17 £10,830.00
TWITTER £26,340.83 £33,242.00
Total £1,318,420.00 £99,624.00
April 2021 to March 2022 YTD    
FACEBOOK £- £32,875.00
LINKEDIN £325,255.83 £6,797.00
TWITTER £- £14,786.00
Total £325,255.83 £54,458.00

Separate figures have been provided for Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Scottish Development International (SDI).

SDI is the international arm of the Scottish Government and Scotland's enterprise agencies, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the South of Scotland Enterprise. It works collaboratively to promote Scotland internationally with the aim of attracting foreign direct investment and promoting Scottish products and services to overseas markets.

As you will note, the majority of the costs were incurred by SDI on behalf of SE and partners. In particular, we would like to take the opportunity to provide context to the significant investment made in 2020/2021, where SDI executed the international ‘Think Scotland’ campaign to promote Scotland as a world-leading location for inward investment and trade. This was a digital and data driven campaign which was delivered in direct response to new challenges brought about by Brexit and the impact of Covid-19 which made it difficult to physically engage with international investors.

The Think Scotland campaign allowed SDI to target hard to reach audiences and support foreign direct investment (FDI) to Scotland. The campaign successfully helped attract new investment to Scotland during exceptional times, creating more than 300 quality planned jobs for the people of Scotland.

In terms of value for money, it is estimated that the projects secured will contribute more than £72 million to Scotland’s GDP and generate a return of £23.50 for every pound invested. (ROI calculation based on DIT Report). During the period of the campaign, consideration of Scotland as an investment location (as tracked by EY’s Investment Monitor 2021) showed a significant increase in destination attractiveness, increasing from 7% to 15% and outperforming every other UK region outside of London.

A significant proportion of the remaining spend over the three-year period predominantly related to advertising costs associated with promoting products and services to Scottish businesses, with the majority of those costs incurred on behalf of enterprise partners across Scotland.

Contact us

For further information please contact our communications team, quoting the FOI reference number.