Social Media, a growing movement in Quebec

April 27, 2011

Whether it is Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Foursquare or YouTube, the popularity of social media is indisputable. Although Internet marketing specialists agree on the advantages of a social media strategy, many Quebec companies are still hesitant.

Quebecers and Social Media
Even though a survey by the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD) reveals that the number of Web users actively following companies on Facebook is not enormous, and these figures are even less significant on Twitter, Internet marketing specialists are unanimous that Quebec companies must adopt social media within their marketing strategy.

Numbers in Quebec [1]

  • 43% of Quebecers have a Facebook account;
  • Of those, 49% access it at least once every day;
  • Only 3% of Quebecers have a Twitter account, but this number is expected to significantly increase in the next few years;
  • 15% of Quebecers follow a company on Facebook and 6% on Twitter.

Canadian figures [2]

  • More than 83% of Canada’s online users have a Facebook account (versus 71% in the U.S.).
  • Canada tops all countries with more than 70% of Canada’s Web users visiting YouTube on a monthly basis (that is more than 2 billion videos viewed); in comparison, 55% of Internet Users in the U.S. visit YouTube every month.
  • An average Canadian Internet user spends 42 hours a month online in comparison to 30 hours for American users.

American Companies
With the arrival onto Canadian soil of American companies that are well established in the social medias, Jocelyn Desjardins, Director of communications and marketing for the CQCD insists that Quebec companies must take the plunge. He alleges that the importance of social media is going to skyrocket in the upcoming years. Mr Desjardinns compares a company’s presence on the Web to a store banner. Would you open a store in downtown Montréal without a sign outside the business letting people know you exist? Well the Web, and your active presence on it, is your sign, your brand.

More than just followers and friends
Time, energy and money must go into maintaining Facebook and Twitter accounts. Even though a person is not a fan of your Facebook page or following you on Twitter, there is nothing preventing someone from consulting your company’s page to see what others are saying about you. Thinking that the Web will only impact your “friends” and “followers” is incorrect, and may be damaging to your company.

In comparison to large U.S. brands such as Old Spice, Doritos and Target, Quebec companies may seem to be lagging behind in their adoption of social media as a powerful marketing strategy (e.g.: Old Spice posted a YouTube video that was watched 34 million times; the video showed a man answering question from the public, clad in only a towel). The European tendencies show that Quebec seems to be well into the social media game and even though many Quebec companies may be lacking when it comes to social media best practices, numerous companies have at any rate established their presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It appears that Quebec is at least keeping up with the peloton.

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