Canadians Spend More Time Online, Use More Social Media Than Other Countries.

By On 5, Jan, 2011 |  In: Internet Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing | Tags: , ,  | 1

It will come as no surprise to search engine optimization insiders providing SEO services in Canada – although it may be fresh information to their clients and the general public – that Canadians were among the “early adopters” of social media (such as Facebook and Twitter), and that they lead the rest of the world in respect of the amount of time they spend online, and particularly on social media sites,  according to the leading internet research firm, comScore.

The Globe and Mail reports that “(t)here aren’t many theories as to why exactly, but Canadians rank among the most enthusiastic users of the web and all its various offshoots.” We would beg to differ, however.

As a country with a comparatively small population spread over a vast land mass – Canada being the second largest country, next to Russia, in terms of its physical size – uniting the country, whether it was through building a transcontinental railway or providing coast-to-coast-to-Artic-ccoast access to television through a national broadcaster – has always been a priority for Canadian governments and her citizens.

Marshall McLuhan {“The media is the message!”), the father of media studies, was after all a Canadian.  It would come as no surprise to McLuhan that Canadians adopted internet technologies earlier and use social media more intensely than other nations.

According to comScore, Canada has “the highest penetration of Internet access” in the world, with approximately 68 per cent of the Canadian population “online.” This compares with “62 per cent (of the population) in France and the United Kingdom, 60 per cent in Germany, 59 per cent in the United States, 57 per cent in Japan, and 36 per cent in Italy,” according to the Globe.

In terms of usage, Canada is the only country whose users average over 2,500 hours – or nearly 42 hours – per month online. “Israel was second with an average of around 2,300 minutes,” the Globe reports, while a few other countries were around the 2,000-minute mark.” Let’s consider that. Canadians spend the equivalent of a full workweek online every month, although it is not clear what percentage of that time falls within working hours.

Of particular note to those interested in the potential of social media platforms as internet marketing tools, Canadians had the highest usage per capita and spent more time on YouTube than any other nation, and are also amongst the world leaders in terms of the percentage of the population (and online population) on Facebook.

Meanwhile, in respect of Twitter (perhaps the world’s fastest growing social media platform) “the number of Twitter accounts in Canada has increased by 75 per cent since the beginning of the year, and the number of daily tweets more than doubled,” a spokesperson for Twitter told the Globe.

For those companies seeking to utilize various SEO services to market, brand and/or sell their services or products online, the growing importance and use of Twitter, Facebook and other emerging social networking sites – not only in Canada, but worldwide – should signal that social media marketing must be an integral component of your firm’s overall search engine optimization strategy.

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