Canadian Social Media Use and Online Brand Interaction (Statistics)

Canadians love using social media in 2016 and Facebook continues to be the social network they use most, a new survey from InsightsWest has determined. Facebook, YouTube and Instagram use is still growing at a healthy pace overall in Canada, while Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Reddit usage has slowed down a bit. A respectable 18% of social interactions are with businesses. In spite of social media’s popularity in Canada, websites are the most common way for Canadians to interact with businesses online.

Canadian millennials use social media differently than other age groups. YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are growing in usage among millennials in this country. Conversely, the older our residents are, the less likely they are to have tried each social media network. In all age groups combined, only 15% said they had never tried YouTube and just 16% said they’d never used Facebook.

Social media usage among women is growing steadily across all networks. Growth among Canadian men is slower by comparison. The ladies are using visual social networks more, with Instagram and Pinterest seeing more growth by comparison to men. LinkedIn growth among Canadian males is almost double the growth of women using the network.

The Most Popular Social Media Networks in Canada

The popularity of social networks is based on more than the number of members they have. How often Canadians actually use the networks is even more important from the business engagement perspective. The following statistics show how many of the Canadians surveyed visit each social network at least twice per week.

Facebook 71%
YouTube 49%
Twitter 27%
Pinterest 23%
Google 21%
Instagram 20%
LinkedIn 12%
Snapchat 9%
Tumblr 5%
Reddit 5%

2016 Canadian Social Media Use and Online Brand Interaction (Statistics)

When Canadians have a complaint about a company, they prefer to vent on Facebook, followed by Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. It’s absolutely critical that online consumer complaints be monitored and addressed, making social customer support and PR an absolute must in today’s marketplace. You can make the job easier with social media monitoring tools.

How Canadians Interact with Companies Online

Visit business websites 30%
Discuss companies with friends and family 18%
Ezines / eMail Newsletters 18%
Follow companies on Facebook 16%
Comment, post or talk about businesses on Facebook 8%
Follow companies on Twitter 7%
Interact with companies on a mobile device 5%
Comment, post or talk about businesses on Twitter 5%
Follow companies on Instagram 5%
Follow companies on LinkedIn 4%
Comment, post or talk about businesses on LinkedIn 4%
Comment, post or talk about businesses on Instagram 3%

Clearly, a diverse online marketing and engagement plan continues to be the best path for Canadian businesses. Online marketing is crucial for business success in today’s market, and social media marketing cannot be ignored. Consumers will always look for companies and brands on social media and they fully expect to find you there when they do.

Need some help to supercharge your social media marketing and engagement?

  • Free LinkedIn training is available at LinkedU: How to Create a Massive LinkedIn Referral Network with THE Most Influential Players in Your Market.
  • The book Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Amazing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and More, was revised and expanded in 2015 and is perfect for social media novices.

Have you noticed a difference in Canadian social media usage as it relates to your business? How are you harnessing the power of social media in Canada? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below.

Source: InsightsWest 2016 Canadian Social Media Monitor
Results are based on an online study conducted from March 7 to March 10, 2016, among a representative sample of 1,049 Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.0 percentage points.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
2015 Canadian Social Media Usage Statistics
Canadian eCommerce and Social Sales (Q1 2016 Data)


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on,,, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Hello Melanie, Do you have data about the social media activity of Canadians by postal code in Canadian cities?

Hello, where can I access provincial data? panel data over the past few years by province hopefully

Eric Bourgault

Something went wrong and lost all of my text;
MY request was to use the data from this page for an upcoming event I am initiating on Vancouver island. In collaboration with Reboot, the National Day of Unplugging Canada. will be the first event of the kind to be hosted in a college. The event will take place at the North Island College and will be used as a pilot to create similar unplug day in other schools across BC and Canada.

I am also looking for any other studies you may have available on cyberaddition in Canada.

Thanks in advance for your help!


May I use data found on this page for a university project

Sara Smith

Can i use this data for a research project?


Hello, may I use this data for a university paper?

Bjorn Lindholm

Hello Melody, can i cite this data for paper in media/communication class?

Kate Taplin

Hi Melody, can I cite this data for a University project?

Aram Actarian

Hey Melody, can I too use your source for my uni project? Thank you.

Jorge Regula

Can I cite this data for a university project?

Polina Shadman

Thank you – is there a more recent study ? I need it for a marketing class 🙂


Was this survey done across Canada, in both english and french?


UGH! I’ve been looking everywhere for current social info. I should have known it would be here because I got my 2015 data from you. It’s great for selling clients on the concept of social media marketing. Many thanks!

Douglas Lampi

On common difficulty that our Digital Marketing Firm finds among business owners, is measuring the success of the social media marketing spend. Monitoring you number of likes and your number of shares can be helpful, but it’s easy to post a cute picture that get lots of shares – yet it does nothing to lead a customer closer to purchasing.

Social media is an increasingly critical link in the sales funnel, both for attracting new customers via word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, and from the perspective of ongoing service to your present customers. Yet it is only one part of a complete lead-generating strategy.

In order to make the most of our clients social media marketing assets, first we create a Lead Magnet on their website… a free premium that people can download, in combination with a series of auto-responder email that educate the prospect and nurture them along the sales funnel with one-to-one, personalized communications. Second, we create a deep and helpful article on the website, that features the Lead Magnet offer. Third, we share this resource article with short ‘teaser’ posts on all the various social media platforms – enticing our audience to click though to the website for the resource article.

Second-to-last – the success of each social post is measured in with Google Analytics – with a bit of supporting data from Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics…

We measure traffic to the website that converts into a lead – then we measure leads that convert to sales.

Finally, after a social post has proven itself successful at driving traffic to the website, we pay a small advertising fee to make our social posts into Sponsored Tweets, Sponsored Pins, Boosted Facebook Posts and Sponsored announcements on Linkedin etc…

Social media works. And these days, companies don’t have to strike out alone and find out *what* works – there are many reputable Digital Marketing Firms in Canada that can provide proven strategies that bring measurable results.

Brad Yetts

Great to get this type of info. I’m hoping they provide a more thorough analysis of the SM use among the different demographics.


Social media data is my favourite sort at least in marketing. By nature social is going to fluctuate yet the behaviour is consistent because there is nothing more human than social behaviour. The trick is knowing what’s next.