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82% Of Canadian Business Leaders And Senior Marketers Expect To Spend More On Social Media In 2009

com.motion-Pollara have once again partnered on their annual “com.motion-Pollara Social Media Barometer “ which looks at the predicted spending of social media in the coming year by business and marketing leaders and general habits of how consumers consume social media. For 2008, 401 business to business professionals and thousands of consumers were surveyed to draw data on not just the spend of social media for 2009, but as well consumers who use social media as part of their daily lives.

How Do Consumers Feel About Social Media?

  • Facebook has established itself as Canada’s dominant social network. Among Canadians who use social media, 87 per cent say they have tried Facebook, compared with 33 per cent for MySpace and 13 per cent for Twitter.
  • Two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) say social media is an important tool for developing, maintaining and nurturing friendships, up from 52 per cent a year ago.
  • Two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) say social media tools are important for learning about products, services, organizations and brands, up from 59 per cent a year ago.

Social Media has become entrenched in consumers lives and has become an integrated part of many online properties which helps to increase its adoption. There is however still a large percentage of the “average consumers” who still asks the questions “What is RSS?” or “Should I be on Facebook?”

Lou Carsley, General Manager for NutriSystem Canada (a current client of com.motion) added that, “Our investment in social media has generated a terrific and measurable return on investment. Canadian consumers are talking about NutriSystem across the Web and we knew we had to be part of that conversation.”

Will Businesses Spend More On Social Media In 2009?

  • Despite the economic slowdown forcing marketers to modify their spending, 82 per cent of Canadian business leaders and senior marketers say they will spend as much or more on social media in 2009 than they did this year. That’s more than for any other marketing communications discipline, as seen in the table below. (see below)
  • 7 of 10 business leaders polled suggest that cutting back on social media and digital spendign during tough economic times is a mistake
  • Nearly four in five Canadian marketers (78 per cent) say senior management supports greater investment in social media. That’s up dramatically from 54 per cent a year ago.
  • Two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) say social media tools are important for learning about products, services, organizations and brands, up from 59 per cent a year ago.
  • The number of business leaders who say they are less familiar about social media than their customers has fallen to 17 per cent, down from 26 per cent a year ago.
  • Just 7 per cent of Canadian business leaders see social media tools as a fad, down from 15 per cent a year ago. And one in two (46 per cent) say social media tools have forever changed the communications landscape and are becoming more important than communications tool such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
  • Nearly four in five Canadians (79 per cent) say they have used social media tools. That’s up from 71 per cent a year ago.

Canada still remains one of the most active user bases for social media networks such as Facebook and MySpace where visitors will often consume digital content for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The increased adoption of mobile devices has also played a hand in the number of consumers who strive to be “always connected” as more and more Smart Phones, Blackberry and iPhone devices hit the market.
The cost to entry for a company looking to leverage social media is also quite low when compared to more traditional channels such as print, radio or television and as Principal of com.motion and Senior Director of Media Innovation for Veritas Communications, Keith McArthur says “… social media is no longer ‘the next big thing.’ It is now the thing.”
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