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56 per cent of Canadians on a social network


June 24, 2009
By Greenhouse Canada

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socialmediaNEWS HIGHLIGHT

56 per cent of Canadians on a social network

A new study from Ipsos Reid shows a dramatic increase in the number of
online Canadians who have a profile on an online social network.

June 23, 2009 – A new study from Ipsos Reid shows a dramatic increase in the number
of online Canadians who have a profile on an online social network. In
18 months the percentage with a profile has increased from 39% to 56%.
These are some of the findings from “Social Networking: 2009”, a new
study conducted and released by Ipsos Reid. Study author Mark Laver
notes, “Social networks get a lot of press and rightfully so, they are
becoming the communications tool of the 21st century. The increasing
concentrations of people at these types of websites make them very
attractive to online marketers and businesses.”

Facebook continues to be the dominant social networking site and
it has only increased its advantage in the last 18 months. Today, over
three-quarters (85%) of online Canadians with a social network profile
have one at Facebook. Women are slightly more likely to have a social
network profile (59% compared to 52% for men). Additionally, as age
increases, the likelihood of having a social network profile decreases.
Most online Canadians who are aware of social networks aged 18-34 (86%)
have a social network profile, compared to 60% of those aged 35-54 and
44% of those aged 55 or older.

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“Clearly, the social networking phenomena is a big hit with the
younger generation. What is surprising is the degree to which older
members of the population are also exploring online social networks.
From a marketing perspective, Facebook’s back-end systems allow for the
targeting of some very specific niche groups. In fact, Ipsos Reid has
even used it for hard to fill quota groups for online surveys,”
continues Laver.

Among those aware of online Social networks, some users are
visiting the sites very frequently. In fact, almost one-third (32%) of
those aware of Facebook had visited the site in the last 48 hours and
almost one-half (44%) had visited in the past week. Online Canadians
are now spending more than one-third of their Internet time each week
participating in, and browsing, online social networks.

Laver concluded “many companies employ a very simple media
strategy, that is, follow the consumer. As the consumer continues to
spend increasing amounts of time in the digital world businesses and
marketers are paying increasing attention to the Internet. However,
online social networks tend to be extremely personal and this thus
creates a dilemma for marketers and businesses – how to communicate in
a personalized setting without upsetting the target audience.”


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