Because your customers are.

Let’s look at some concrete numbers on social media usage in Canada

According to an Ipsos-Reid poll published in July of 2011, 50% of all Canadians, and 60% of all online Canadians have at least 1 social network profile. Broken down into demographics that’s 86% of Canadians aged 18-34, 62% from the ages of 35-54, and a surprising 43% of the 55 and older crowd.

The most significant trend noticed by Ipsos-Reid since their previous poll two years earlier was the frequency of usage. The poll found that 30% of all social network users visited the sites once a day, up from 19% two years earlier. Also, 45% visit a social networking site once a week as opposed to 35% two years prior.

Let’s put those into perspective with actual population numbers. According to Statistics Canada, the population of Canada on July 1st, 2011 was 34,482,800. So using that as our base:

  • Canadians with at least one social network profile = 17,241,400
  • Once a day users in 2011 vs. 2009 = 5,172,420 vs. 3,275,866 or 1,896,544 more Canadians using social media once a day than 2 years ago
  • Once a week users in 2011 vs. 2009 = 7,758,630 vs. 6,034,490 or 1,724,140 more Canadians using social media once a week than 2 years ago

In two years, the number of Canadians that use social media on a daily basis grew by nearly 1.9 Million people. So we know that Canadians are integrating social media into their daily lives at an impressive rate in the past few years.

What Networks Canadians are Using

The most interesting statistic that was provided as part of the poll was the growth of the use of different social networks in Canada.

Facebook is still King in Canada. 86% of Canadians who use social networking have a Facebook profile according to the poll, a number that was almost stagnant from two years earlier when that number was 85%. What we are beginning to see is the emergence of two other popular social networks: Twitter and LinkedIn. In 2009, less than 1% of Canadian social networkers used Twitter. In 2010, that number grew to 10%. In 2011, that number grew to 19%. For LinkedIn, the numbers of users grew from 6% in 2009 to 14% in 2011. So while Facebook may continue as the primary first social network utilized by Canadians, there is exponential growth in the number who are also now using Twitter and LinkedIn.

How Those Numbers Affect Small Business

If you have at least basic understanding of Facebook and Twitter, you know that you have the ability to ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ a business page/profile on the social networking sites. According to the Ipsos-Reid poll, 48% of social network users have followed or liked a business page, and the average among those people is 6.7 pages per user. In hard numbers, that’s 8,275,872 Canadians that follow or like at least one business page or profile, and a total of 55,448,342 likes.

Over 8.2 million Canadians share a total of over 55 million business interests.

Make sure you are one of them?