As of March 2021:

There are more than 3.5 billion searches per day on Google globally.

There are 35-40 million ACTIVE users on Facebook in the UK. (Source: Facebook ads platform)

There are 16.45 million ACTIVE users on Twitter in the UK. (Source:

There are 29.2 million users on Linkedin in the UK. (Source: Linkedin search)

There are more than 2 billion active DAILY users worldwide of YouTube. (Source:

There are 30.6 million ACTIVE users of Instagram in the UK. (Source:

8% of Pinterest users daily visit the site and app.

Tiktok has 3.7 million active users who are on there for an average of 41 mins per day.

Snapchat has 21.1 million users in the UK (Source:

Clubhouse is the new social media platform on the block. It works only on iOS devices at the time of writing and is an audio only platform where you can hold conversations (it’s audio only) and create rooms for conversations around particular topics.

57% of the UK population use social media on a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet and spend 114 minutes DAILY on their favourite social networks!! During lockdown where more and more users are working from home, we’ve seen an incredible uplift in social media users on desktop too, browsing their favourite sites whilst they’re working too.

A huge number of people use their mobile device as an alarm these days, and after switching off the alarm, will browse to their emails, their messages, their social media platforms. The people you want to engage with could literally be waking up with your messaging in the palm of their hands!

Ah, I can already hear you thinking… “but Caroline, that doesn’t have any relevance for me… my programme or project is only for people within my LEP or within my council boundaries”

So, let’s take a look at what we call hyper local reach – this means the number of people that you could reach within the geographical boundaries of your programme or project.

Let’s take a look at a unitary council such as Thurrock. On Facebook alone, there are 165,000 people using Facebook actively within the geographical coverage of Thurrock Council (Source: Facebook ads). Of which:

· 26,000 are aged 18-24

· 45,000 are aged 25-34

· 36,000 are aged 35-44

· 26,000 are aged 45-54

· 17,000 are aged 55-64

· 15,000 are aged 65+

Even rural areas that are known for higher digital poverty still have a significant number of users. Your ideal users may not use a laptop to access the internet, but most will have smart phones, and hence why social media is such a powerful tool to reach your ideal audience, even those most hard-to-reach audiences!

Now imagine if your programme is LEP wide, or you’re not part of a unitary council, and you can begin to see just how many people you could reach via social media to engage with your programme.

If you choose to assign a social media ads budget to your project (paying the social platforms such as Facebook to get your programme marketing messages), you will have an enormous opportunity to create audiences that are most likely to engage with your programme, and it will depend on how much money you allocate to that budget as to how many people you can reach.

Let’s go back to our Thurrock example and look at what you can achieve with these social media ads budgets on Facebook:

Firstly, let’s look at the potential audience for a skills programme. You could choose to target everyone in Thurrock (total audience size 165,000), and would reach the following audience sizes with the following Facebook ads budget:

· £5 per day would give you a reach of between 1,300 people and 3,500 people PER DAY

· £10 per day would give you a reach of between 2,300 and 6,300 people PER DAY

· £20 per day would give you a reach of between 3,100 and 8,800 people PER DAY

· £50 per day would give you a reach of between 4,800 and 14,000 people PER DAY

· £100 per day would give you a reach of between 7,700 and 22,000 people PER DAY.

You might be wondering why there’s a range of numbers for each budget that I’ve used as an example. The number of people you reach will depend on how compelling your marketing message is. The more people that engage with the advert, the more Facebook will show it to more people at a cheaper cost. The numbers above come directly from the Facebook ads platform and are Facebook’s ‘guestimates’ because it doesn’t yet know what your messaging will be. In my experience of Skills projects, especially if you’re promoting the amount of jobs available on your portal, then these are highly successful as it’s something that people are super interested in right now due to tough economic conditions, and therefore the actual reach of your marketing messages far exceeds the numbers that are anticipated by Facebook.

Now let’s take a look at the potential audience within the same unitary council boundaries for small business support:

The potential audience size is 14,000 which is made up of small business owners or those interested in starting a business. Imagine what a difference just a small fraction of that number of businesses could make to your 12-hour business support outputs!

Let’s take a look at prospective Facebook ad budgets that you might want to assign to a programme that includes 12-hour business support outputs:

· £5 per day would give you a reach of between 580 and 1,700 people PER DAY

· £10 per day would give you a reach of between 830 and 2,400 people PER DAY

· £20 per day would give you a reach of between 1,300 and 3,900 people PER DAY

· £50 per day would give you a reach of between 2,400 and 6,900 people PER DAY

You can begin to see that even with the smallest budget, you can reach a significant number of business owners EACH DAY!

I guess you’re wondering if you have to assign social media ad budget to your programme, or whether you can find the budget. Only you will know what the budgets will allow for and remember you don’t need to run the ads all of the time. You may choose to only run them at the start of your programme, whilst you’re proving concept of your programme, or getting towards the end of your programme when you still have outputs that you need to achieve.

Is social media only pay to play? Does it mean that you HAVE to spend money to get seen and build your audience? The answer is no, BUT, it will give you a head start and much faster returns than simply posting on your social media channels and hoping that people find what you’re posting.

Remember too, that these examples are just for one unitary council area and looking only at the opportunity on Facebook alone. Depending on who your ideal programme user is, will help you decide on which platform you choose to use and invest your time and resources. Every social media channel has an ads platform with the opportunity to create highly targeted audiences.

Now can you see the opportunity digital marketing provides? And it’s one that’s highly measurable so that you can see the return on investment on your time and any ad budget that you may choose to allocate to your programme.

Interested in finding out more?

A 15 minute conversation with us to discuss your output goals and how digital marketing will help you to achieve those output goals costs you nothing!

Simply call our friendly team on 01245 791969 or drop us an email to

[email protected] to arrange a confidential chat.

The Social Accelerators, founded by Caroline Thomas in 2010 advises clients around the UK on strategic marketing of your public sector funded programme.

Her firm designs and runs digital marketing campaigns that get the results you need across social media, websites and email campaigns.