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%).
2. Popular pages tend to be brands or companies
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:
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:
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:
In terms of how social media usage varies across age groups for each platform, here’s what the Pollara results indicate:
Lastly, here’s how the social media profiles (as described by the level of education) of Canadian users vary across the major social networks:
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.
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