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OH CANADA! How our neighbors to the north feel about Social Media!

Canada FlagLooking to expand your business “near shore”? Canada is a great market to start. Our neighbors to the North are more like us Americans then many think. Here’s the run down – InternetWorldStats.com estimated Canada’s total population in 2011 at 34,030,589 million and about 79% of those Canadians are Internet users (26,960,000 million internet users). Canada’s high online activity, cultural similarities to the U.S., and close location make it a great market for your business to connect with Canadian consumers, but that’s just it. A recent report by Edelman.ca shows us that although trust in social media has increased in Canada, it is still low. Companies should use Social Media as a way to bring Canadians together around a common interest and not a channel to implement traditional marketing campaigns.

The TOP sites in Canada, Eh?

We’re starting to see a trend with these top sites in most global markets and Canada is no different. Take a look at what Alexa.com reports to be the sites that get the most traffic in Canada:

  1. Google.Ca
  2. Google
  3. Facebook
  4. YouTube
  5. Yahoo! 

Top 5 Social Media sites

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Twitter
  5. LinkedIn


The Social Media KING

As if it was that hard to guess. Facebook does it again and is at the #1 spot for social media traffic. As of February 27, 2012 Facebook had approximately 17,187,720 million Canadian users. Facebook’s penetration in Canada’s overall population is about 50%. CheckFacebook.com reports that about 54% percent of Facebook users are comprised of females with the other 46% being male.  Check out the age distribution of Canadian Facebook users:

13-15: 2.7%

16-17: 4.8%

18-24: 24.3%

25-34: 24.6%

35-44: 17.4%

45-54: 13.6%

55-64: 7.9%

65-0: 4.8%


Wondering which Canadian brands have the most followers?

  1. Spencer’s – 1,426,364
  2. Crown Royal – 970,491
  3. Telus – 669,593
  4. Air Miles Canada – 563,947
  5. Volkswagen Canada – 537,917


Now for the top media channels on Facebook


  1. HGTV – 2,119,613
  2. OWN:Oprah Winfrey Network – 1,418,943
  3. MuchMusic – 1,008,581
  4. CMT – 689,621
  5. Yahoo! Canada – 686,322


Although Facebook rules the social media world…I wouldn’t count out other social media channels just yet. LinkedIn and Twitter are also on the rise in Canada and it’s a great idea to utilize these social media channels to connect with Canadian consumers as well.

Canada Loves to be Connected

Calgary, CanadaTake a look of some key insights taken from Comscore.com 2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus  report


Key insights from the 2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus include:

  • Canada continues to lead the world in online engagement, with visitors spending an average 45 hours per month online, representing a fertile ground for digital marketers and advertisers.
  • While Facebook is nearing a point of visitor saturation in Canada, other social networks’ visitor bases are posting strong growth, including Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. Engagement on many social sites is trending upward, with Facebook driving the large majority of the increase in total minutes and page views for the overall category.
  • Online video is becoming an increasingly popular channel, with total videos viewed up 58 percent. YouTube continues to dominate the marketplace, representing nearly 1 in every 2 videos viewed in Canada.
  • Display advertising is evolving to be more social, not only with the rise of “socially-published ads” (i.e. those published on social networking sites), but also the increase of “socially-enabled” ads running across the web that direct click-throughs to the brand’s Facebook fan page.
  • Smartphone penetration has reached 45 percent in Canada, with daily mobile content usage growing more than 50 percent in several key content categories.

So what’s it all mean? Canada is an incredibly connected market that loves the Internet. Social Media is on the rise up there, but its important to note that consumers don’t trust Social Media as a reliable source for information. Social Media is just a way to “connect.” This doesn’t mean marketing on Social Media is doomed. Trust in social media is on the rise, it just takes lower precedent to other sources such as “expert opinons.” Remember, use Social Media in Canada to serve as a conduit for connecting your company (employees and products) with consumers.

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9 Responses to “OH CANADA! How our neighbors to the north feel about Social Media!”

  1. Paul Burns says:

    Interesting article with a few good stats to consider. Canada is very connected and oddly enough, most of us don’t say “eh?”. 😉

  2. Matthew says:

    Nice summary Benjamin. Social Media usage and marketing is indeed booming here in Canada as is the internet marketing industry in general. We’ve seen some big social media names come out of Canada too such as Hootsuite.

    When I looked at the list of top sites I was a little surprised to see Yahoo hanging in there at number 5. Who knows which data is most accurate but I checked out Hitwise and here’s what it reports for the week ending 14/04/2012:

    Rank Website Visits Share

    1.Facebook 12.05%
    2. Google Canada 7.25%
    3. YouTube 4.04%
    4. Windows Live Mail 3.93%
    5. MSN Canada 1.79%
    6. Bing 1.70%
    7. Gmail 1.40%
    8. Yahoo! Canada 1.30%
    9. Yahoo! Mail Canada 1.27%
    10. Sympatico.ca 0.87%


  3. Angela says:

    I just commented on [post_title] : Looking to expand your business “near shore”? Canada is a great market to start. Our neighbors to the North are more like us Americans…

  4. greg smith says:

    Interesting. Top brands followed make no sense to me as a Canadian. Who is Spencer’s? Guess numbers don’t lie, and Yahoo in #5 feels totally off the map. A good read and food for thought.

  5. Terry Van Horne says:

    Sources are almost apples to oranges since Hitwise data is gathered differently then comscore… I’d go with the Hitwise data because it reflects the use of ISP services like email. Yahoo it’s about the groups and chat that many of my older friends not in technology are active on

  6. Daphne says:

    Yeah, I’ve never heard of Spencer’s either. Maybe a west-coast thing? (I’m born+raised in TO and have also lived in NFLD for many years)

  7. Madhur says:

    There’s one more aspect – few of the best analytics companies in Social Media are from Canada – eg: Hootsuite and Radian6. Toronto is growing really well in Social Media and Vancouver and Montreal are also catching up soon 🙂

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