I was talking to one of MB’s clients last week about the explosion in Social Media during the past five years. Most business owners are not aware of the huge reach of most of these online platforms, how fast they are growing, or how to take advantage of them. Most do not have any kind of plan to expand their presence on social media. Without a plan, they are missing out on a huge opportunity to interact with existing customers, attract new ones, or even employees.

Last week, the media reported that Facebook is now the number one media platform in the world with 1.65 billion active users – up 65% from 2012. According to the Pew Research Centre, 62% of Americans get their news directly from Facebook, a market share far bigger than the traditional media like NBC and CNN.

A 2015 survey by FORUM Research found that:

  • 59% of Canadians use Facebook. They visit Facebook an average of 9 times a week.
  • 75% of mothers with children use Facebook.
  • 30% of Canadians use LinkedIn.
  • 46% of high income earners between $100,000 and $250,000 use LinkedIn.
  • 25% of Canadians use Twitter.
  • 31% of high income earners over $80,000 a year use Twitter.
  • 16% of Canadians use Instagram

According to a just-released study by InsightsWest, the following statistics show how many Canadians visit each social network at least twice per week:

  1. Facebook – 71%
  2. YouTube – 49%
  3. Twitter  – 27%
  4. 4, Pinterest – 23%
  5. Google – 21%
  6. Instagram – 20%
  7. LinkedIn – 12%
  8. Snapchat – 9%
  9. Reddit and Tumblr – each 5%

Here is a useful chart prepared by eMarketer.com that gives great insight concerning how these social media platforms break down in Canada by user profile:

Canadian Social Media Usage

Social Media DemographicsThe thought of achieving success on every single social network available can be overwhelming. However, you don’t have to be active on all of them. You should be selective about where you promote your brand and engage with customers. Here’s how to choose the platforms that will work best for you. Each social media platform has unique attributes. Here’s a breakdown of some of the top networks.

Facebook is where people come to connect with friends and family, so it can feel more personal than other networks. It’s the largest platform with the strongest reach, but it’s more about brand promotion, conversation and customer service than direct selling.

Pinterest is ideal for businesses that rely on attractive imagery, such as fashion, beauty and food. It’s great for driving sales and promoting specific products.

Instagram is for sharing gorgeous photos, short videos and memes. It’s great for brand building, particularly for fashion, food, beauty, travel and art/design-based products. It can also be a good way to showcase your company culture, engage your employees in your social strategy and encourage your customers to show off your products.

LinkedIn is where professionals connect. It’s ideal for networking with like-minded pros and promoting services, rather than products.

Twitter is a place for breaking news, big reveals and fast-paced conversation. It’s useful for customer-service and ongoing conversation, but users expect quick response and continuous posting.

YouTube isn’t just a video player—it’s a vast social network where people comment, share and discuss. It’s a great vehicle to promote what you do, in fun and innovative ways.

Like every marketing and advertising initiative at MB, we strongly recommend that clients start their social media expansion with a step by step implementation plan. Over the past few years, we have learned that preparing a written game plan is the only way to determine the best platform, the right priorities and best way to capitalize on the many opportunities on the web for business owners.