Breakdown of social media spend and influencer information: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

1. How much money has the Scottish Government spent on social media influencers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in 2017-2021?

2. Breakdown of what the money was spent on in each scenario, I.e how much each post cost, what person was paid, what platform it was published on?

3. Who were the social media influencers that were paid and why were they chosen?

4. How much did Scotgov pay for advertising on Twitter Facebook Reddit and Instagram 2017-2021?

5. Breakdown of these costs?


Qs 1-2. Agreed costs and fees for influencers are negotiated by appointed agencies from the Marketing Services Framework and are presented to the Scottish Government as part of the overall PR, digital and social media plans. Whilst individual costs for influencers are discussed as part of these overall proposals the information you have asked for relating to specific posts, people and platforms is not gathered in this way or held by the Scottish Government. Specific agreements and contracts with influencers are not held by the Scottish Government in relation to this as it forms part of an agreement between the PR agencies and the individuals themselves. If there are specific campaigns you would like further detail on, please itemise what those are and we will look to supply more detailed information. This will not be by individual post, but an overall cost negotiated by campaign.

The Scottish Government pays agencies contracted through the Marketing Services Public Relations Framework to deliver integrated PR strategies where this is considered effective. Working with social media influencers may form an element of PR activity for some campaigns, alongside other approaches, but we do not hold information on the specific spend on this element.

More information on the Marketing Services Public Relations Framework can be found here:

We are committed to openness and transparency and publish details of our marketing spend, including PR costs, annually on Spend since 2013-14 can be found here:

Q3 The social media influencers that we work through our contracted PR agencies are chosen due to their reach, relevance and appropriateness to target audiences that we are seeking to engage with on crucial public information messaging. This will be vary, and be considered, on a campaign by campaign basis.

Q4-5 Please see below breakdown of social media spend by platform by year for 2017 to 2021.

Platform 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Facebook £227,872 £292,193 £434,891 £1,496,006 £1,582,693
Instagram £26,606 £59,572 £66,782 £210,927 £347,140
Twitter £11,758 £50,233 £143,708 £583,932 £931,763
Reddit       £10,163 £13,379
Totals £266,236 £401,998 £645,381 £2,301,028 £2,874,975

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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