Canadian Social Media Stats (Updated 2018)

Canadian Social Media Stats (Updated 2018)

Big Ideas

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January 24 2018
Big Ideas

If you still haven’t put much stock in the value of social media, the latest stats may change your mind. Statistics Canada, among other reputable sources, report that more Canadians than ever are connected – and that number is growing at a steady pace. 



Canadians Are Connected

By the end of 2017, approximately 22.7 million Canadians had a social media account, a number that has grown by 300,000 annually for the past 2 years. Canadians are seeing the value of using social media to engage with just about anyone; from brands, to public sector and government officials, to each other. And they’re engaging often, too. A recent report issued by Media Technology Monitor suggests two-thirds of Canadian social media users use their accounts every single day. With more users and more activity than ever within online communities, the opportunities for business and non-profits to find their audience online are growing, too.


“With more users and more activity than ever within online communities, the opportunities for business and non-profits to find their audience online are growing, too.”


In Ontario, the country’s most connected province, 67% of the province’s 14.2 million residents have a social media account. This is only a few percentage points up from the national average; 64% of all Canadians have an account on a major social network (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram). Even the least connected province, Québec, has an impressive population of social media users. 49% of Québec residents report having a social media account, with reasons for the discrepancy partially attributed to the lack of content available for francophone audiences. This poses both a challenge and opportunity for marketers and brands targeting the province – there may be fewer users online, but there’s also less noise; a possible foothold for organizations willing to invest in creating French content.


More Platforms, More Options

As social media platforms have gained traction, the market has gradually fragmented. Gone are the days when Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were the only options for Canadian users. While Facebook is still the most popular platform globally, newer networks like LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest have gained a lot of ground with each respective community enjoying growths from 4% to 26% in the last year. This has allowed room for platforms to establish their own community standards and build their own corners of the marketplace – an important takeaway for marketers looking to capitalize on all that traffic. Organizations now have more options for reaching their audience in ways that feel natural to their target users; whether that means posting highly specialized blog posts on LinkedIn or posting daily cosmetic tutorials with Instagram Stories. 


Costs & Benefits

So, how much should businesses invest in social media strategy and execution? Marketers are re-allocating traditional media budgets to digital channels at an enormous rate; social media advertising spends rose by a whopping 71% over the prior year, just ahead of the 60% and 62% rises in display and search ad spends for desktop and mobile browsers, respectively. Some may be surprised to see such a steep increase in how much money businesses are putting behind display ads, which in many circles had fallen out of vogue. However, once-maligned display ads have gained new purpose as social media and re-marketing tools have made it easier and easier to serve highly relevant ads to virtually any user. With highly sophisticated targeting tools now available on virtually every social media platform, the sky is the limit for customizing, executing and measuring successful digital marketing strategies.

This all sounds like a boon for any organization, so why isn’t everyone on board? Statistics show that while 47% of Canadian business owners acknowledge the value of social media, only 39% have any sort of online presence (including a website) and only 24% are engaging daily on a social media platform. Why the disconnect? There isn’t enough data to support a single conclusion, but the common objections we see in digital marketing have to do with lack of time or just plain apprehension: who will care about my business on social media? What could I say to get people to follow me? How will I find my audience, and how will they find me?


“Smart engagement on social media considers the tone of the platform, the conventions of the community and the expectations of their users.”


Quality Over Quantity

The truth is, those audiences are out there – you may just need to get creative to intersect their online curiosities with your product or service. Data shows that 63% of Canadian social media users engage regularly with brands and products and 48% engage with non-profit organizations. The stats suggest there’s room for any industry on social media; the trick is figuring out where your organization fits. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, “the medium is the message”. Smart engagement on social media considers the tone of the platform, the conventions of the community and the expectations of their users. In other words, simply getting the message out there has become the bare minimum, what is critically important is understanding how the message will be received.

Own a plumbing business? Instagram might not be the right medium for you, but a YouTube video tutorial on how to troubleshoot your toilet might be just what people are searching for in their moments of panic. Or maybe you file taxes for a living and you’re hardly convinced anyone wants to sit through a video about tax law. That may be true, but think about how many people receive a scary letter from the CRA and immediately turn to the internet for advice. Blogs are a great tool for service providers, allowing them to easily create useful content to distribute on social media while boosting SEO on their websites – both things that help them connect with prospects.

Intrigued by the data but not sure where to start? Our team of digital marketing experts is here to help you reach your online potential. Get in touch today - there is plenty more we’d ‘Like’ to ‘Share’ with you.

After all, if you are reading this, it’s proof that social media, content marketing and search optimization work.


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