Canadians Lead in Social Media Usage

Canada boasts some of the world’s highest Internet penetration and social networking usage rates, beating out the U.S., according to new research from eMarketer.

By year’s end, the firm estimates that about 15.1 million Internet users in Canada will have visited social networking sites at least monthly, up from 13.6 million in 2009.

Penetration will rise from 59 percent of the Internet audience this year to 68 percent by 2014, when 18.4 million people in Canada will be socializing online at least once a month.

Comparatively, eMarketer expects the number of U.S. social network users to rise from approximately 58 percent this year to 66 percent in 2014.

“Canadians are readily adopting social network activities, often at rates higher than users in the U.S., but gaining the trust of users on a social network is a brand manager’s biggest obstacle,” said Mike Froggatt, eMarketer analyst.

He added: “Savvy marketers should use social networks to integrate brands into the daily online lives of customers and increase overall exposure and word of mouth, leading to more interaction and sales.”