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New Study Says Majority of Canadians Have Social Network Profile

Ipsos Reid released more data from their recent study "Social Networking: 2009;" one of the findings: in the last 18 months the percentage of Canadians with a social network profile has increased from 39% to 56%.

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.

“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,” study author Mark Laver notes.

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 also has some thoughts for businesses and marketers trying to reach all these socially-active Canadians

“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.”