This report examines social media in Canadian tech firms. Several of our past studies took a closer look at Canada’s challenges in growing companies. The reluctance of Canadian tech businesses to spend on sales and marketing, especially when compared to US-based firms, contributes to the slow commercial uptake of Canadian products and services.
In this study, we began to examine these sales and marketing activities in greater depth by looking at social media practices of Canadian tech firms relative to companies in other regions around the world. Social media is a critical piece a compressive digital marketing strategy and is a relatively affordable and powerful way to engage new and existing customers and build brand recognition and loyalty.
Our sample population consisted of 113 randomly selected internet software businesses in five jurisdictions: Canada, California, New York, Massachusetts, and the United Kingdom. All firms had obtained last funding in 2016, with cumulative financing ranging between $5 million and $20 million. (Unless indicated otherwise, all amounts are in US dollars.) In order to gauge Canada’s efforts and success in social media, we ranked Canadian tech companies relative to other regions using activities on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogging. Overall, we rank first in effort (as gauged by activity) but unfortunately, only fourth in results, or ability to generate engagement with followers and other observers.
This analysis generates more questions than it answers. Given the degree of activity that Canadian companies put in social media channels, they are certainly not falling behind the US in their efforts at marketing communications. Given the importance of social media in generating engagement quickly and cheaply, and to do so locally and globally, we need to find out how to generate better results from our time investment in digital marketing.