As Canadians, we’re proud about who we are. We’re proud about hockey, surviving winter every year, and donuts (Canadians are the world’s biggest donut consumers per capita just in case you didn’t know.)
And, according to a new eMarketer report, we’re also really into social media, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to most Canadians given how many people use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In 2010, eMarketer expects 15.1 million online users in Canada will have visited a social networking site at least once a month, an 11% increase from from 13.6 million in 2009. By 2014, 18.4 million Canadians are expected to visit social media, boosting penetration to 68% from 59%.
It’s no surprise Facebook is, by far, the most popular social media service with 9.6 million unique visitors a month but a surprising runner-up is Windows Live is 543,000 visitors, while Twitter is third with 344,000.
The traffic data, which comes from comScore, also lists a mysterious service called Skyrock within the top-10. Anyone heard of Skyrock or using it?
One of the things eMarketer’s report highlights is how little research has been done on the Canadian social market. Despite the fact we’re enthusiastic consumers of social media, there isn’t much quantitative or qualitative data about the usage and behaviour of social media consumers.
It may explain why many Canadians companies are just starting to explore social media, while their counterparts in the U.S. are all over it. To put it simple terms, there may be a lot of talk about social media in Canada but there isn’t nearly as much corporate walk.
It’s a puzzling situation because you would think that with so much activity among consumers, Canadian companies would be all over social media. But the reality is there isn’t nearly enough happening, and real success stories are few and far between.
Perhaps reports such as eMarketer’s will turn the tide. Once senior executives see evidence that social media is not a fad, maybe that will convince them to change their mindset.
Below, you’ll find two charts from eMarketer. The first shows social media penetration rates, which seem low given Canada’s has the eight-largest Facebook population in the world, the fourth largest Twitter population and the highest penetration (68%) for YouTube.
As well, it is puzzling to to DeviantArt and Classmates.com in the top-10 – neither one I would consider a social network.