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O Canada! The great white north – where the people are polite and spend their days playing hockey, building igloos, drinking Timmies and surfing the Internet? No no no, that’s not the right stereotype…but it should be.

Although often overshadowed by our American counterparts to the south, Canadians have emerged as some of the world’s most active Internet users. Here are some stats that may surprise you…

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16th
Canada’s ranking on the list of Worldwide Internet Users
(Internet World Stats)

33.5 million

Estimated Canadian population in January 2009
(Statistics Canada)
84
Percentage of Canadians that use the Internet, the highest Internet usage per capita in the world.
(Internet World Stats)

28
Percentage of Canadians’ leisure time is spent online
(Global TNS)

98
Percentage of online Canadians that use search
(Search Engine Strategies – SES Toronto)

1/2
Of the top ten Canadian search terms so far in 2009 contained the word “Facebook”
(Hitwise)

5.4
Average number of hours per week that online Canadians spend on Social Media sites
(Marketing Magazine Canada)

56
Percentage of online Canadians who have a personal profile on a Social Media site
(Ipsos Reid)

13.8
Percent of all Canadian Internet visits in April 2009 were to Social Media sites (second to search engines)
(Hitwise)

3rd
Toronto’s ranking on the list of the World’s most active Tweeting cities (behind New York and Los Angeles)
(Sysomos)

1/3
Of online Canadian consumers rely on Social Media when making purchasing decisions
(Social Media Reality Check)

73
Percent of Canadian companies do not have a Social Media budget
(Social Media Reality Check)

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What does this mean for your business?

It’s now obvious that Canadians are among the most active Internet and Social Media users in the world. But what does this mean for your business?

Social Media can be used as an efficient and effective tool to reach your current and potential customers. The more you interact and network with them, the more trust and confidence they will have in you. Social Media is all about relationships – creating them, building them, managing them and leveraging them. As this new media continues to grow, more and more consumers will rely on it when making purchasing decisions. Since Social Media is basically word of mouth marketing, Canadian businesses need to jump on the bandwagon – and stay on. Social Media is no fad – it is here to stay.

As a Canadian company, have you adopted Social Media?