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How marketers should leverage social media in Canada

As social network user counts reach new milestones, brand marketers can’t ignore this massive audience, its behaviors on different platforms, and the enhanced targeting capabilities now available from ad products. Even in a cookie-compromised ecosystem, with targeting on mobile devices becoming more difficult, investment in social channels for organic content and paid promotion should remain a priority in media planning. Here's how marketers can leverage social media:

Make social media a fixture in advertising budgets

With almost 25 million monthly social users in the country, the audience is sizable. What’s more, social ad units are delivering improved return on ad spend (ROAS) and predictable performance for brands. Programmatic direct spending, which is mainly made up of social ads, will account for more than three-quarters of total digital display expenditures in Canada in 2022. Brands should ensure their media mix is somewhat in line with these industry norms.

Spread social budgets across multiple platforms

As platform diversity continues to expand, focusing social media budgets on a single social network will limit your audience. TikTok’s rapid rise in user growth now makes it a viable promotional vehicle. Users favor certain social networks for a variety of aims—connecting with others, entertainment, and personal expression.

Developing a media plan that includes multiple social networks will provide a greater balance in audience targeting. This multiplatform approach allows for A/B testing to fine-tune budget allocations. The flexibility of the ad managers on social networks also allows for continual optimization across campaigns.

If you’re targeting Gen Z, think TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram

Adoption among teens and young adults is much heavier on TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, compared with Facebook or Twitter. Furthermore, Gen Zers (people born between 1997 and 2012) get their primary inspiration to shop from social media. Eighty percent of Gen Zers in Canada said social media advertisements had the largest influence on their purchases, according to PwC’s 2021 holiday survey.

Double down on influencer marketing

On platforms like Instagram and TikTok, creators have become a primary vehicle for paid brand promotion. Social users gravitate to influencers who reflect their lifestyles and ideas, creating lookalike audiences for targeting. The influencer economy has become a strategic aspect of how brands invest in social media. Micro- or nano-influencers, who cultivate niche audiences, have proven particularly effective for brands since they can offer precision targeting without hefty price tags.

Don’t sleep on Twitter

Twitter’s potential for brands remains strong. As the third most used social media platform in Canada, it still outranks Snapchat and TikTok. Brand programs in the country that focus on events, like the Olympics or elections, have been the focus of Twitter promotion.

For example, the snap election in Canada in 2021 was an opportunity for many brand campaigns to promote voting on Twitter, which launched an emoji triggered by a series of hashtags. The platform’s connection to the news cycle offers brands a vehicle to participate in conversations related to current affairs.