When judging the impact of Social Media on communication and marketing ‘culture’ many proponents quote number of accounts on various platforms. While those totals are important, more informative are the numbers of active accounts and sharing metrics. The latest Ipsos Reid survey of Canadian Social Media Usage illustrates what many have noted in the past few months – that the number of Canadians signing up new social media accounts is beginning to peak, but there is a dramatic rise in interactivity. Canadians are active daily and weekly on Facebook especially – more than most equally connected countries – and the demographic statistics show youth no longer dominate.
The above statistics provide the basics for advertising agencies and public relation firms to convince clients a social media presence is now vital for the Canadian. A more vital note from Ipsos Reid is: 48% connect in some way with at least one brand or company either by ‘liking’ on Facebook or ‘following’ on Twitter, and of those who connect with one brand, the average number of connections is over 6.
As Steve Mossop – President of Ipsos Reid Western Canada – mentions:
A new era has dawned in the social networking space, The first five years was about building awareness and usage around socializing, and consumers responded positively. The next five years will be about commercialization of social networking. Companies who understand, and enter this space will gain a whole new way of interacting with and engaging their customers.
Companies and organizations with an active social media presence should also note that 41% of Canadians are directly influenced by their online connections in choosing whom to ‘like’ or ‘follow’, with that statistic higher in those aged 18-34 (46%) vs 55+ (34%)
While the number of Canadians creating new social media profiles is slowing, and possibly eventually peaking at the 60 to 70% level, the increase in participation illustrates how users are changing online habits from ‘search’ to ‘share’. The Ipsos Reid survey was published before Google+ was launched, but the impact of the new platform will have consequences on interaction statistics when G+ business profiles become available. G+ will likely not increase overall social media account new users, but it will be interesting to see if existing Facebook and Twitter users migrate and spend more time there.