Canada is similar to the United States when it comes to using social media. Social media in Canada is widely accepted and used for personal and business use. Half of Canadians are on Social Networks. In other words over 18 million people across Canada uses social media. The number of Canadians on Social Networks has only grown by 4% since 2009, the frequency of Social Media use amongst Canadians is on the rise. In 2010, 35% of online Canadians visited a Social Media site at least once a week – that number has now grown to 50%. In 2011 35% of online Canadians visited a Social Networking site everyday which was only 19% a year ago. While 15% of Canadians stated that they use Social Media less than they did a year ago, 35% say that the time spent has increased.
The 18-34 year old demographic are the heaviest users of Social Media in Canada, with 86% of that age range active on Social Networks. But older age ranges have significantly increased their Social Networking activity in recent years. Almost 2/3 of 35-54 year olds and over 40% of those over the age of 55 in Canada are now actively using Social Media.
Facebook is the most popular social media tool in Canada. Facebook users total 18,002,560. They rank #14 in the world in terms of usage on Facebook. Other social media tools used by Canadians include: YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flicker, Digg, and Reddit.
The image below illustrates how Canadians use Social Media.
Social media isn’t used for business as much as it is for personal use. Only 17% of Canadian companies post to social media sites regularly. While 30% of executives interviewed in a study said their company posts to social media sites several times a week. Only three in five of those often monitor social media conversations.
- 17 per cent said their company often monitors for corporate social media mentions and posts to social media sites at least several times a week
- 33 per cent said employees use personal social media accounts to mention company events, news, etc.
- 14 per cent said their company posts to social media channels more than once a day, yet a quarter of those don’t often monitor for mention
- 10 per cent of executives said their company monitors for mentions but seldom, if ever, posts to social media sites
- 5 per cent of execs said their company posts to social media sites at least once a week yet seldom, if ever, monitor for mentions
Acceptance of e-payment in Canada is very similar to the United States. Electronic payments used more often by Canadian consumers than notes and coins. Direct debit transactions are very common. Credit card transactions are almost always electronic, and are increasingly performed without the need to physically present the card. Check imaging is around the corner (or part of some existing consumer services). New services, such as stored-value cards or facilities offered by a provider such as PayPal, are being experimented or are actually gaining popularity.
- 94% of Canadians have a debit card to use at retailers or at ABMs to make transactions
- New forms of electronic debit payment are becoming more widespread
- When it comes to credit cards, consumers in Canada have tremendous choice with hundreds of institutions – including banks, credit unions, and retailers – offering credit cards, with a wide range of features
- Cash is often assumed to be a “free” form of payment for merchants – it’s not. In fact, it can be very expensive if you include effort spent on cash handling
Canada benefits from a secure, efficient and innovative payments system built on the foundation of strong financial institutions. Canadians value and trust the payments system which enables them to make the transactions that are part of their daily life. And those transactions are driving the country’s economy.
E-business is a term used to describe businesses run on the Internet, or utilizing Internet technologies to improve the productivity or profitability of a business.
Canada recognizes the importance of the adoption, use and development of e-business. The Electronic Commerce Branch of Industry Canada goal is to build on Canada’s established foundation to support and facilitate continued growth of e-business in the Canadian economy.
They do this by:
- Building trust in the Digital Economy
- Clarifying marketplace rules, both domestically and internationally
- Removing barriers for the use of e-commerce, in conjunction with the private sector
- Benchmarking both firm-level and national performance in the digital economy.
To build trust, the Federal Government aims to clarify marketplace rules through policies in the areas of privacy protection and online security. The Electronic Commerce Branch promotes the use of e-commerce as an enabler to trade in a global environment and as a catalyst for development. The Branch carries out this mandate through:
Through organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to promote common global policy frameworks for the Internet economy with Canada’s key partners.
As international borders become seamless in today’s world of digital transactions, regulatory clarity and predictability in the marketplace are necessary to ensure continued cross-border e-commerce growth.
In general, all existing laws that apply to traditional commerce apply equally in an electronic environment. For example, laws related to business incorporation, business name registration, taxation, consumer protection, deceptive advertising, importing/exporting, product safety, product standards, criminal code, inter-provincial trade treaties, intellectual property and liability, all apply.