2018 Report: Canadian Social Media Use Statistics

Canadian marketers keep a close eye on who is using social media in Canada, as well as which platform they visit most. We’ve combined data from various sources to give you a broader picture of social media use in Canada. This information will allow you to make more informed decisions and better predict the outcome of your social media marketing campaigns in 2018.

The Social Media Lab at Ryerson University recently released a report focused on social media use in Canada in 2017. They found 94% of online Canadian adults have signed up for at least one social media platform. Facebook leads the way in both membership and activity for all ages. Use of the platform is consistently high for all income and education levels.

The Most Popular Social Media Networks in Canada

  1. Facebook 84%
  2. YouTube 59%
  3. LinkedIn 46%
  4. Twitter 42%
  5. Pinterest 38%
  6. Instagram 37%
  7. Snapchat 22%
  8. Tumblr 11%
  9. Reddit 9%

Frequency of Use of Each Social Network Platform:

Canadian Social Media Use Frequency

Clearly, Facebook is the place to be for B2C brands. Adoption is almost universal in all age groups. With an adoption rate of 75% for Canadians over the age of 55, it’s the only social network that offers a significant reach into that age group. No matter the age, education level, employment status, income or gender, at least 75% of online Canadians use Facebook and at least 69% visit the network once per month or more.

While the number of users of other social networks are lower, it pays to know your target market when deciding where to concentrate your marketing. For example, YouTube still attracts a diverse audience within the 48% of online Canadians who use the network, but usage is 90% among users 18-24. You’ll find more users aged 26-54 on LinkedIn and they’re generally more highly educated. Snapchat, Tumblr and Reddit are dominated by younger age groups.

If your target market is primarily women, look no further than visual networks like Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest is the second most popular network for women at 56%, but only 18% of men use it. 46% of online Canadian women use Instagram.

Social media usage can also vary by industry.  For example, a survey of Canadian book readers found that 62 percent cited Facebook as the platform they use most often, followed by YouTube at 45 percent, Twitter at 25 percent, LinkedIn at 25 percent, Instagram at 24 percent, Pinterest at 23 percent, and Snapchat at 13 percent.  If your target market is book readers, this data could be used to refine your social marketing strategy.

The Most Popular Networks for the Self-Employed

If your B2B target market includes self-employed Canadians, the adoption rate of all social networks changes to one degree or another. They have a higher adoption rate of LinkedIn than the national rate, for example, but they use the other networks less.

  1. Facebook 77%
  2. YouTube 56%
  3. LinkedIn 56%
  4. Twitter 38%
  5. Pinterest 28%
  6. Instagram 26%
  7. Snapchat 10%
  8. Reddit 5%
  9. Tumblr 3%

Industry Adoption of Social Networks

Industry adoption statistics are a useful indicator of what your competitors are doing. You’ll want to investigate it further as you plan your social media strategy.

Following are the top five industries on Facebook in Canada as of January, 2018, according to SocialBakers:

  1. Retail
  2. Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) – Food
  3. Beauty
  4. Retail Food
  5. eCommerce

Data is from the total number of local fans for the largest 200 pages in Canada by fan count.

For information about provincial social media use, user profiles and more, read 2018 Social Media Use in Canada.

Marketers closely monitor social media use in this country and adjust their budget allocation accordingly. According to the Canadian Marketing Association’s Digital Marketing Pulse report, 71% of marketers intend to increase their spending on social media marketing this year. Specific networks that will see a budget increase include Facebook (84%), YouTube (59%), Instagram (56%) and LinkedIn (48%).

??? Does the number of Canadian social media users have a direct impact on where you spend your marketing dollars? Please share your comments below.

Data Sources:
Gruzd, Jacobson, Mai, & Dubois. (2018). The State of Social Media in Canada 2017. Version: 1.0. Ryerson University Social Media Lab. DOI:10.5683/SP/AL8Z6R 
The study surveyed 1,500 Canadians in 2017 using quota sampling by age, gender, and geographical region to match the distributions in the 2016 Statistics Canada Census.
CMA Canadian Digital Marketing Pulse 

✔ You may also be interested in reading:

How Canadian Social Media Use Compares to Other Countries
Canadian Influencer Content Marketing
15+ Best Instagram Business Tools


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3 Responses to "2018 Report: Canadian Social Media Use Statistics"

  1. Jas Saran  June 9, 2019

    So informative a post. Didn’t have any idea about these stats. Thanks a lot Melody for sharing this artcle.

  2. Julie  March 8, 2018

    Lots of excellent information here! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Miranda Villeneuve  March 5, 2018

    Great snapshot & good point about the # of users not being the only thing to think about. If I used FB to advertise to business owners I’d be throwing money down the drain. Linkedin is my goto and Twitter.


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