Canadian Social Media Statistics

ComScore has released it’s 2013 Digital Future in Focus statistics, including social media use in Canada by citizens and businesses. It’s packed with useful information for Canadians marketing online. We’re covering it in segments over the next week, enhanced by tips and guidance for how to utilize this information in 2013. This series begins with a focus on the social media habits of Canadian residents and marketers.

Canadians using Social Media

Social networking by Canadians increased by 3% overall in 2012.

The Top 5 Social Networking Sites in Canada (with their progress since 2011):

  1. Facebook +8%
  2. Twitter +27%
  3. LinkedIn +38%
  4. Tumblr +96%
  5. Pinterest +792%

Visual social networking sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram are clearly gaining in popularity with Canadians. It has increased the importance of attractive illustration on web pages and blog posts to entice visitors to share content on these networks. It has also increased the popularity of data visualization (such as infographics) and branded graphics intended for sharing (such as illustrated famous quotes).

Pinterest has enjoyed a very rapid climb in popularity in North America and beyond. Most importantly, it’s sending a high volume of traffic to websites.  The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business states, “With 4,000 percent growth in just six months, 17 million users, and a record for more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn COMBINED, Pinterest delivers an unbelievable opportunity for marketers . . . if they know how to effectively use it.”

Share of Social Display Ad Impressions in Canada

Marketers with their finger on the pulse have been taking advantage of the popularity of social media in Canada.

  • Use of ad’s linking to social networks increased in Canada, from 7% in 2011 to 17% in 2012.
  • Canadian Advertising on social networks increased from 24% in 2011 to 27% in 2012.
  • Canadian Ad’s on social networks that link to social media pages jumped from 6% in 2011 to 17% in 2012.

The top 10 Companies/Organizations Ranked by Share of Display Ad’s on Social Networking Sites in 2012 are:

  1. Capital One Financial Corp. 52%
  2. Government of Canada 40%
  3. Electronic Arts 30%
  4. Beyond the Rack 26%
  5. Telus 20%
  6. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) 19%
  7. Procter & Gamble 18%
  8. Microsoft Corp. 18%
  9. American Express 15%
  10. Netflix 14%

Smartphone Users and Social MediaCanadian Social Media Statistics for Smartphone

Smartphones and other mobile devices have fast become a staple in the the daily life of Canadians. At the end of March, 2012, there were 26,543,780 mobile subscribers in Canada, according to The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). The number of subscribers increased by 659,961 since March, 2011.

Tomi Ahonen of Nokia says, “The average person looks at their phone 150 times a day, or once every six-and-a-half minutes of every waking hour.”

Smartphone subscribers accessing a social networking site or blog leaped by 56% in 2012 over 2011. 58% of Smartphone users said they visited social networks almost every day, 25% once per week, and 16% dropped in one to three times each month.

What Smartphone Users do on Social Networks:

  • Read posts from people known personally 81%
  • Posted status update 62%
  • Read posts from organizations/brands/events 59%
  • Followed posted link to website 58%
  • Read posts from public figures/celebrities 51%
  • Posted link to website 36%
  • Received coupon/offer/deal 33%
  • Used Social Networking Check-In Service 31%
  • Clicked on advertisement 29%

This offers a backdoor opportunity to get in on the exploding potential of mobile marketing. An eMarketer report indicates Canada is second only to the US in mobile marketing, as marketers jump on the knowledge that usage is at an all time high. Reaching mobile users through social media is less expensive than more direct mobile advertising methods, and it allows for more efficient distribution of marketing resources.

For more on mobile marketing in Canada, please refer to the post Mobile Advertising Jumps by Over 75% in Canada.

Need some guidance? Here are a few expert resources to help you learn more about using social media for business success:

    • 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 2019 and is perfect for social media novices.

How will you take advantage of the massive opportunity provided by social networks in 2013? Please comment below.

ComScore – Canada Digital Future in Focus 2013: Trends Every Marketer Needs to Know

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

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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Sarah D.

I greatly appreciate this information as a Canadian about to launch an online retail store. It’s tough to choose which social media networks are worth my time until I can afford to hire someone.


Very handy and well done info for Canadians is a joy to find thanks.


The more we do with social media the more we benefit…it’s a no brainer. It takes learning and time but it’s worth doing. We have someone in every department involved in social media and blogging.


I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!


Thanks for providing these statistics on social media. I’ve been trying to justify the time invested and now I can.


I’m still not totally sold on social but yeah, it’s getting harder to prove my point so I should stop being so damned stubborn. Thanks for another good post.

Kristina Krafter

Awesome post! If I could just find someone as informed as you are to run my online accounts I’d be rich! 😉 That’s the ticket isn’t it? Keeping on top of the latest and greatest online. I guess I’ll have to find time to do it myself until I can hire you.

Susan Max

Our last marketing manager underestimated the worth of social media and we suffered for it. Our current staff is much more focused on it. Thanks for the stats!


Thanks for exploring the study further. I prefer it when stats are put into a useful article by comparison to articles that just report the numbers.

Evan S

It’s hard to argue that the numbers are there if Canadian businesses get off their but and take advantage of it. Just make sure you take the time to learn about it first!


We joined social media in 2009 but admittedly we didn’t do it right. Then we hired a marketing assistant who is simply a whiz at social media marketing and she also looks after our blog. Our traffic and conversions increased significantly in the past year thanks to her. Her wages are reasonable and her worth is priceless!