We know social media is wildly popular with Canadians who use the internet (almost 90 percent of us are connected), and those who market to them. Ninety-four percent of online adult Canadians have an account on at least one social media network, according to Ryerson’s Social Media Lab.
Canadian statistics for social media usage aren’t easy to find and the data is valued by most marketers in this country. That said, digital marketing often targets an international audience. Social media is popular in many countries and so is advertising on those social networks to reach consumers.
For effective social media marketing on any network, it’s important to keep in mind why people use social media. It’s telling that the top five reasons people around the world use social media, all rank within 10 percent of each other.
- Stay up to date with current events (36.5%)
- Find funny and entertaining content (35%)
- Fill spare time (34.4%)
- Stay in touch with friends & family (33%)
- Share photos or videos (27.9%)
It comes as no surprise that Facebook (recently rebranded as Meta) leads the global pack, and if you include all of Facebook’s social companies it’s even more impressive. Seventy-seven percent of online Canadians use Facebook daily.
However, Facebook appears to have completely lost touch with its users in recent years and their ad approval system has been glitchy. Eventually, that will result in a decline of the effectiveness of advertising on the network. It’s another reason to diversify your social advertising to other popular networks. Other networks may be more effective for your specific target market as well. For example, I have better luck reaching businesses on Twitter and LinkedIn than I do on Facebook.
SEMRush recently gathered up some global social media usage data and put it into an infographic (see below). This ranking includes a variety of online communication platforms and apps, including chat/messaging apps and Q&A platforms that may not be useful to most Canadian small business advertisers. Research each of the social networks, analyze their use by your ideal customer persona, and come up with a list of networks to test.
- Facebook is number one, with about 2.797 monthly active users
- YouTube has 2.291 monthly active users
- WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) has 2 billion monthly active users
- Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion monthly active users
- Instagram (owned by Facebook) has 1.287 billion monthly active users
- WeChat (owned by Facebook) has 1.225 billion monthly active users
- TikTok has 732 million monthly active users
- Douyin has 600 million monthly active users
- QQ has 595 million monthly active users
- Telegram has 550 million monthly active users
- Snapchat has 528 million monthly active users
- Welbo has 521 million monthly active users
- Qzone has 517 million monthly active users
- Kualshou has 481 million monthly active users
- Pinterest has 459 million monthly active users
- Reddit has 430 million monthly active users
- Twitter has 396 million monthly active users
- Skype (owned by Microsoft) has 300 million monthly active users
- Tieba has 300 million monthly active users
- Quora has 300 million monthly active users
- Viber has 260 million monthly active users
- LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft) has 250 million monthly active users
- Teams (owned by Microsoft) has 250 million monthly active users
- IMO has 200 million monthly active users
- Line has 169 million monthly active users
For comparison, the top social media networks Canadians use daily are:
All social networks will probably experience a decline in use once the pandemic is over. Hopefully we’ll be able to report on that when the data becomes available in 2022.
Do you use social media to target an international audience? Please share your thoughts or questions below or join us in the Online Business Canada Facebook group!
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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 CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.