Your Insights on Social Media in BC

Despite rumours of Facebook’s impending decline, the social media giant is still dominant: the majority (67%) of BC adults visit Facebook at least once a week and one-half (50%) use it daily; also, 25% are using it more often than 6 months ago (54% the same, 21% less often).

Vancouver, BC — A recent Insights West and 6S Marketing online poll surveyed 838 BC adults regarding their social media use and found that Facebook still leads the social media landscape by a significant margin. Two-thirds of British Columbians (67%) use Facebook at least once per week, and half (50%) use it daily compared to only a fraction of that who use Twitter (13%), Instragram (5%), Pinterest (4%) or LinkedIn (3%) on a daily basis.

However, despite Facebook’s dominance, other social networking sites are increasing in popularity. Nearly everyone has heard of Facebook (98%) and Twitter (91%), three-quarters have heard of LinkedIn (73%) and over three-in-five are aware of Pinterest (64%) and Instagram (61%). Awareness of photo sharing sites, Pinterest and Instagram, is significantly higher among younger British Columbians aged 18 to 40 – over three-quarters of this group have heard of Pinterest (77%) and Instagram (77%), compared to only about half of those aged 40 and older (54% Pinterest and 48% Instagram). Women (70%) are also significantly more likely to have heard of Pinterest than men are (59%).

When it comes to social networking sites other than Facebook, Twitter is British Columbia’s second most-used social network. Fresh from celebrating its seven-year anniversary, Twitter receives weekly visits from one-fifth (21%) of British Columbians, and daily visits from 13%. Half as many visit Pinterest (11%), LinkedIn (9%) and Instagram (9%) at least weekly and fewer than 5% use each of these daily.

With the exception of LinkedIn, use of all social networking sites is higher among the younger generation (18 to 29 year olds). While Facebook is still the most popular social networking site among those aged 18 to 29 (88% at least weekly, 76% daily), this group is also experimenting with other social networks. The majority (60%) have used Twitter, and over one-third (36%) use it at least weekly. Two-in-five have used Pinterest (41%) and Instagram (37%), with one-in-five using these sites at least weekly (17% Pinterest and 22% Instagram). Three-in-ten (30%) have used Tumblr, with 10% using it at least weekly.

“Facebook’s dominance continues unabated among British Columbians — especially those under the age of 30” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “Although other social networking sites are gaining in popularity, they have a long way to go to compete with the Facebook powerhouse”.

Some reports have suggested that Facebook has peaked, or is in decline—but these results suggest otherwise. While the majority spend the same amount of time using Facebook as they did six months ago (54%), a larger number are spending more time (24%) compared to those spending less time (21%). Even among the younger generation (18-39 years of age), the same applies — only slightly fewer are using Facebook more (25%) than are using Facebook less (28%).

In fact, Facebook is the only social media platform where British Columbians are reporting positive momentum. More people report spending less time (18%) on Twitter in the past six months than those who report more time (13%). The same applies for Pinterest (20% less versus 9% more), Instagram (18% less versus 5% more), LinkedIn (21% less versus 10% more), Tumbler (20% less versus 2% more) or Snapchat (18% less versus 1% more).

“While people once thought social media was a trend, these statistics confirm it’s here to stay,” says Chris Breikss, President and Co-Founder of 6S Marketing. “Based on these responses, social media is becoming BC’s number-one way to connect and build relationships. I don’t believe Facebook’s position as most popular platform will fall anytime soon, but it will be interesting to see if any smaller platforms, like Instagram or Tumblr, will attain the longevity Facebook’s had.”

Attitudes towards all social networking sites confirm usage trends—there is still a ton of positive sentiment around all social networking activities. About half (53%) agree that “Facebook is the best way to communicate with others online”, and that “I wouldn’t keep up with many of my acquaintances if it wasn’t for social networking sites” (57%) and that they would feel “out of touch if they didn’t use social networking sites regularly” (43%). These attitudes are most prevalent among those under the age of 30, with agreement levels consistently 20 points higher or so among this demographic for each statement.

While some of those polled agree that Facebook has lost its edge among younger people, the vast majority disagree. although most disagree that “Facebook is not cool anymore”, there is a large minority who agree with this (32%); yet this number is consistent among those who are under the age of 30 (32%). Conversely, most disagree that “Facebook is for older people now” (67% disagree, only 19% agree), and this number does not vary by age.

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has eight full-time and five part-time employees.

About 6S Marketing:

Founded in 2000, 6S Marketing expertly amplifies businesses through the use of digital marketing. Their passion for online activation and engagement leads their clients to maximum results — and makes them one of the leading digital marketing agencies in North America. Clients have included top Canadian brands like Mountain Equipment Co-op, Vancity and Topshop Canada. Having originated in Vancouver, 6S Marketing soon extended their services to Toronto and is currently expanding to Alberta.

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 2nd – 13th, 2013, among 838 residents of BC aged 18+ who are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for BC for age and gender. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West
778-891-4762

stevemossop@insightswest.com