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Social Media Usage in Canada

By Townes Haas   |    August 10, 2015   |    9:49 AM

Social media is increasingly popular with people of all ages and backgrounds in Canada. A couple of decades ago, social media did not even exist but today everyone from the Prime Minister to the Pope recognizes the power of social media. Businesses have likewise become savvy to the fact that social media is an exceptional tool, capable of developing new business and promoting the services and products offered. Small businesses are rapidly expanding their online presence, in particular on social media sites, as the latter provide an excellent method of attracting new clients. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube, Talkbiznow, Google+ and more, allow small businesses to have instant access to thousands of users to promote their message, gain brand recognition and seek new business opportunities as well as partnerships. This article will give you an overview of all you need to know to successfully use social media to boost your small business.

The use of social media is on the rise in Canada. Research indicates that the top social media networks used in Canada are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram. Facebook is still the most widely used social media site in Canada. Marketing executives are keenly aware of the possibilities that social media sites such as Facebook offer to captivate new audiences, connect with potential clients and generate new business. To truly gain access to the power of social media, many small Canadian companies have learnt that they need to use social media to tap into and listen to their audience, promote a relevant message and enable others to share it.

How do small businesses in Canada use social media to interact with potential customers?
One of the best ways that small businesses use to reach out to their customers and engage with them via social media is to provide them an exclusive offer which features a clear call to action. Small businesses often announce sales and discounts using social media to publicize offers rapidly to millions of Canadians. Small businesses in Canada may offer sales deals which are specific for each social media network, and small businesses may only offer the deals to fans, followers or people who 'liked' their page.

There are many ways of announcing sales. Some small businesses may invite followers to use a password to get access to a discount. This can provide interesting marketing feedback as you can take note of who pays attention to your sales announcements. Announcing such discounts on social media is very productive as often your followers might re-tweet your discount for you or share it with the friends they think might be interested on Facebook. You can furthermore provide potential clients with incentives to promote your company on social media by offering sales incentives; for example on Twitter you could tweet “the next 20 people who retweet this will receive 15% off their next purchase.” Whilst on Facebook you could use an app to offer a great deal. You might want to post an offer that says something like: “the first 30 people who share this post on Facebook get $50 off a $100 purchase,” and so on. Using methods like these will allow you to promote your business without even having to lift a finger!

You can also use location-based social media apps to draw in followers in your area. For example, if someone uses FourSquare to check in to a cafe on your block, you can quickly send them a voucher for your products or services. Even if the person doesn’t take advantage of the offer, it will still alert them to your company's presence and they might check out your business another time.

You can also use social media to ask questions to your potential customers; this is an excellent way of interacting with your audience and finding out more about their likes and dislikes. Their comments could even inspire you to launch a new product or develop a new idea. This could also allow you to enter into meaningful conversations with consumers who may well appreciate a personal touch.

Another very important way of interacting on social media with your clients is paying attention to what they tweet about your company. Surveys can be useful, but most of all it is vital to treat your customers as individuals, not just anonymous transactions. If a customer posts about their great experience with your company, thank them. Currently 58% of consumers who tweet about a bad customer experience never receive a reply from the company they have an issue with. Failing to take note of what is being said about your small business can cost you revenue in the short term and damage your brand name in the long term. Customers have more choices than ever before and are better informed too, so it is important to nurture your relationship with them and keep them engaged via social media channels.