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Canadian Marketing Behaviours

social media apps

As Canadians in any industry, there is a balance of collaboration and differentiation with our neighbours to the south. While sharing a border with the USA is often a great strength for our country, we also have to make clear that we do not simply live in their shadow. This is not a boast of national pride (though we certainly have that), but more, it is because we are an entirely different nation with our own customs, beliefs, and strengths. We differentiate ourselves because Canadians are different.

In a marketing sense, this is extremely important to understand. Depending on your audience, you may only be interested in targeting Canadians. This means you need to understand their behaviours as a separate entity, rather than grouped in with the USA. Using these generalizations may result in skewed strategies and results that could be avoided with the proper data. While there are certainly many similarities between our two countries, in this blog, we will explore the differences regarding Canadian marketing behaviours.


To start, the penetration rate of social media in Canada is 91.3%, making it one of the most connected countries in the world. This means that social media is an ideal means of reaching the population. Although platform and social media usage vary across demographics, it is an excellent way to reach Canadian audiences in general.

However, a couple of Canadian behavioural trends make social media a less beneficial marketing tactic. First, Canadians tend to be “social media introverts.” They are less interested in sharing their personal lives with the world than using private messaging apps. As of December 2023, instant messengers were the second most-used social media platforms after social networks.

The second trend is advertising fatigue. Canadians tend to get annoyed by overbearing advertisements and ads based on their search history. However, this does not mean social media advertising is a fruitless cause in Canada. There are many less in-your-face options, such as native advertising and branded content, that can help avoid this issue. We’ve discussed some of these tactics in previous blogs to help you get the most out of social media advertising.


Platform usage varies between Canada and the United States. Understanding which platforms work best for your content and to reach your audience is essential. While Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in both countries, the runner-up platforms reveal more variation. As previously mentioned, instant messengers, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, tend to beat out other media-sharing platforms for second place in Canada. In contrast, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest compete for second place in the USA.

Additionally, there is the global phenomenon of TikTok. Although its usage has significantly grown in both countries, it is much more prominent in the United States. While TikTok has less than half the Canadian users that Facebook does, the rise of video-centric platforms has resulted in TikTok being US internet users’ preferred social media platform for viewing short-form videos and the platform upon which US users spend most of their time. Although TikTok is best for reaching American audiences, it is still useful for reaching younger audiences in Canada. 

As you can see, specific trends and preferences set Canada apart from the United States and can be integral to marketing to its population. No matter who your audience is, unLOCKEd can help make your marketing effective and impactful by utilizing our experience and expertise. Contact us today!

Author: Sarah Murphy


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