The Scottish Government has spent more than one and a half million pounds on social media advertising in the last five years.

More than £1m was spent on Facebook, while the rest was split on ads with Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

The Glasgow Times reported Facebook spending totalled £1.1m with just under £300,000 spent with the tech giant in on year, 2018/19.

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The same year was the highest for total social media spending when almost half a million was spent (£474.098).

Snapchat was the second highest with more than £165,000 spending and twitter had £162,000 spent on ads.

The detailed spending was given by the government after Labour MSP Neil Findlay asked how much had been spend on social media advertising.

Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, replied: “Social media advertising is a cost effective way to reach key audiences with relevant messaging.

“All Scottish Government spend is aligned to key government priorities, supporting social change, conveying public information and raising the profile of Scotland internationally.”

Mr McKee said the cash was spend on campaigns across a range on policy areas. The last year which covers from April 2019 up to December 2019 saw cash spent on ads for teacher recruitment, road safety, and on a public information campaign promoting settled status to EU citizens living in Scotland.

Previous years included campaigns on childcare, early years and migration.

Home energy and tackling obesity also featured in the campaign ads.

While Facebook spending increased from £187,000 in 2015/16 to just under £300,000 in 18/19 spending on twitter also rose from £12,000 to more than £71,000 last year.

The vast majority of the cash is spent on campaigns targeted at a Scottish audience but some have a wider UK and an international dimension.

For example in 2018/19 an advert promoting Scotland as a place to live, work and study was targeted at Spain, Poland, France, Germany, USA, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Netherlands, Australia and Canada.

Others include an advert targeted at English border regions for early learning childcare recruitment targeting parents and career changers.

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In 2018 a campaign promoting Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships to high school leavers and people at University targeted at Pakistan, India, USA, Canada ran for three months costing £9,631.56.

From about Scotland, it read: “Scotland is home to some of the best universities in the world. Find out more about what our universities have to offer, and how a £4,000 Saltire Scholarship could help you study in Scotland.”