5 Social Media Trends in Canada and What They Mean for Lead Generation

5 Social Media Trends in Canada and What They Mean for Lead Generation

Now that 80% of B2B buyers expect the same buying experience as their B2C peers, B2B marketers increasingly look toward their B2C counterparts for inspiration. Social media is one area in B2B marketing where the “consumerization” of B2B is strongly being felt, and nowhere is this shift more significant than in the Canadian lead generation space.

According to a 2017 eMarketer report, B2B marketers in Canada now use tools that traditionally belong to B2C teams in order to help them better understand their target audience and improve their marketing programs. Social media management platforms rank as one of the leading B2B tech spending categories for Canada-focused marketers, with lead generation as a primary goal for their marketing investment.

In addition, findings from Social Media Examiner’s industry study from 2017 indicate that, on some level, B2B and B2C social media strategies continue to converge. This is shown, for example, by B2B marketers’ growing adoption of B2C platforms such as Facebook as their preferred social channel.

All this means that Canada B2B marketers need to look at overall social media developments, not just the partial blips that customarily show up on their B2B-calibrated radar. That’s exactly what we’ll do in this post. We’ll dissect the five biggest social media trends in Canada and talk about how each of them potentially impacts lead generation.

1. Preferences slightly differ from U.S. audiences

Pollara’s latest SOCIALscape report shows that 91% of Canadian adults online have at least one social media account (predominantly Facebook), which they access more often through mobile (60%) than via desktop or laptop (35%).

Using social media data compiled by Statista and research carried out by the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, here’s how Canadian social network preferences compare with U.S. users:

Social Network Preference - Canada vs United States - Plot

What This Means for Lead Generation:

While some data points indicate that Canadian social media access closely aligns with U.S. users, we need to take note of some key differences.

First, we see that the level of mobile access is almost twice as much as desktop/access for Canada-based users. But, for U.S. audiences, this number reaches 91% (a 9:1 mobile-to-desktop access ratio).

Next, while both U.S. and Canadian social media audiences overwhelmingly prefer Facebook and YouTube, the popularity of other major social media platforms tends to be very different in the two countries. Take LinkedIn, for example. It’s the third most popular social network in Canada but only ranks sixth place among U.S. users.

Related: A Lead Generation Guide for Canadian Businesses

Nearly two-thirds of social media users polled in the Pollara survey say they follow company, brand, or product pages. Here’s the entire list of page types that Canadian social media audiences tend to engage with:

Page types that Canadian audiences tend to engage with - Plot

What This Means for Lead Generation:

With almost two-thirds of social media users following a company or brand, there’s tremendous potential for building and cultivating a community around your company or product among Canadian audiences.

Also, knowing the kinds of pages that resonate with your target audiences as consumers or real persons (not only in their business or professional lives) is a great way to make your target buyer personas even more representative of your customers, which in turn enables more personalized and targeted interactions.

Related: A Complete Cheat Sheet to Social Media Branding for Consulting Firms

3. Usage differs by province

The Pollara survey also breaks down Canadian social media usage by province. The top two social networks across Canada’s provinces consist of Facebook and LinkedIn, but the results also show some marked differences in usage among the rest of the major social media platforms:

Usage by Province - Plot

What This Means for Lead Generation:

If your social media advertising strategy relies on geographic targeting, then knowing how each Canadian province uses major social networks is the first step toward refining your targeting tactics and budget allocation. As the numbers show, a one-size-fits-all social media strategy most likely won’t work for Canadian audiences.

4. Engagement varies across platforms

We also find some clear differences in the user profiles and engagement levels across Canada’s top social media networks, as revealed by the Pollara survey.

Here’s how Canadians actively use the top social networks as measured by the percentage of social media users who check a platform at least once a day, post at least once a day, and share content at least once a day:

Social Network Activity - Canada - Plot

In terms of how social media usage varies across age groups for each platform, here’s what the Pollara results indicate:

Social Media Usage Across Age Groups (Pollara Results) - Plot

Lastly, here’s how the social media profiles (as described by the level of education) of Canadian users vary across the major social networks:

Canadian Social Media Users by Level of Education - Plot

What This Means for Lead Generation:

As you can see from the preceding stats, user profiles and level of engagement differ from one social network to another. Knowing these variations helps you match your social media strategy with your target buyer persona. This information allows you to pinpoint which platforms to focus on in order to maximize both your reach and engagement.

Related: Social Listening: The Power to Gain Business Insights and Increase Sales

5. Business adoption leaves a lot to be desired

While a full 47% of Canadian businesses acknowledge that social media drives digital marketing results, only 39% actually have some kind of online presence. Part of the reason for the disparity includes a lack of know-how and resources available for social media initiatives.

Still, Canadian marketers are ramping up their social media investments in order to capture more value from this channel. According to the recent Canadian Digital Marketing Pulse Survey, 71% of Canadian marketers plan to increase their spending on social media this year. In particular, 84% of Canadian marketers will expand their budget for Facebook; 59% say they’ll spend more on YouTube, and 48% will increase their LinkedIn spending.

What This Means for Lead Generation:

It’s clear that Canadian marketers are going where their audiences are flocking to. That means stiffer competition in the most popular channels. But you don’t have to go head to head with competitors to reach and engage your audience. If you really know your target customers, you know exactly where to put your time and resources. Again, take a more granular view of your social media audience and use these trends to help you develop the right tactic.

Build your digital presence, attract the right audience, and engage potential customers with the help of Callbox’s integrated Digital Marketing Solutions.

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