How Does Canada Stack up in Social Media Usage?

bigstock-Like-Word-Made-Of-Colorful-Toy-47513839 Have you wondered just how widespread Social Media is here in Canada? As a business owner, it’s critical that you keep your finger on the pulse and understand the reach that social media has and how best to build relationships with your target markets moving forward. So how does Canada stack up with respect to Social Media usage?

This chart taken from Comscore’s December 2011 report, shows Canada is alive and well in its usage of social media. The U.S. for example shows 98% of their total population using social media sites compared to Canada at 94.4% which is still as staggering statistic.

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Of note is the reach across all age groups. While the 55+ age group globally is the fastest growing population on sites like Facebook, here in Canada, we are slightly below the worldwide stat. However as the population ages, this category will continue to grow.

Of no surprise to me is Facebook‘s continued dominance of the top 5 social networks as expressed in the last diagram.  For those of you who aren’t aware, Facebook will be filing for an IPO this year. They are planning to raise $10 billion dollars which would give Facebook a total valuation of $100 billion making it the biggest technology IPO on record (Washington Post).  This push to go public is also responsible for some of the significant recent changes we have witnessed to Facebook’s Timeline for business pages.

LinkedIn, which overtook Myspace in 2011 to become the fourth largest global network, is an example of a top U.S.-based social network attracting legions of users outside of its local base. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, the majority of LinkedIn’s audience now resides outside the U.S. While LinkedIn continues to generate the most traffic from the U.S., it is showing high market penetration in these other countries including Canada.

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As a Social Media Specialist, clients often ask me about the effectiveness of  email blasts as part of their overall social marketing strategy . The answer is …it depends on who your target market is and what their habits are. In moving forward however, I want to draw your attention to this observation taken from the Comcast report.  Today’s generation of teenagers and young adults age 15-24 represent a new breed of Internet users, often called “digital natives”* for growing up alongside computers, the Internet and digital media. Looking at the future through the lens of a digital native, social networking is the norm.  Analysis of the communication habits of these users offers a clue as to what the future might look like in terms of how we communicate. From July 2010 to October 2011, 15-24 year olds saw the largest decline in their use of Instant Messengers and Email, outpacing overall declines in average time spent on these categories across other age groups.

Simultaneously, 15-24 year olds also saw the biggest increase in average time spent on Social Networking. To date, this demographic shows the highest average engagement with Social Networking worldwide. These data collectively suggest that much of the communication going on between 15-24 year olds happens via social networks. As this generation matures, carrying these highly social behaviors into the future, it is possible that social networking, or its natural successor, could become the most important communication travel across all age groups.

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As a business owner, one must understand this shift and respond accordingly and while this observation is a global one, as a Canadian, one should assume this will be true for our younger generations as well.

I’d love your feedback! Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog via the commentluv feature.

Until next time,


While Joanne Burgess lives in Newmarket, Ontario with her family, she is Virtually Yours, anywhere.

5 thoughts on “How Does Canada Stack up in Social Media Usage?

  1. Pingback: The negative impacts of social networking giant Facebook | ashlovescupcakes

  2. Hello Lola, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the post. Was there anything in here that surprised you?

  3. Hi Karen! Yes, Canadians in general have embraced social media well. The 55+ group while growing still has a little ways to go to catch up with the rest of the globe, but I have no doubt they will. It’s important for business owners to understand who their target market is and where they hang out online and then focus their time and attentions in those social media spaces to maximize success. Thanks for reading the post. Visit again soon 😉 Joanne

  4. Very interesting Joanne – it is very good to know where Canada fits into the usage mix. I like the fact that we are crossing all age brackets, it means that all target markets can be reached through social media! Thanks for the post!
    Karen Armstrong recently posted..Biophoton TherapyMy Profile

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