The social media landscape in Canada is always evolving. 50% of the entire Canadian population are now on some form of social network, and these numbers are only going up. More and more people are turning to Twitter and Facebook to connect with friends, family, and their interests. There’s no better place to show off that Michael Kors watch you got for your birthday, or the view from your room at the Marriot. Facebook’s got it all, from Aston Martin to Ricky Martin. If you’re in to anything, there’s most likely a fan page for you and millions of your closest friends, and if there isn’t one, you can just make one yourself. But rather than allowing any Tom, Dick, or Harry to run something as important as the official Facebook Page for Bud Light Lime Premium Light Beer with 100% Natural Lime Flavor. Budweiser and millions of other brands are taking it upon themselves to put their best foot forward online.
Canadian brands are no exception. Roots Canada on Facebook has become a place to get a great deal on a hoodie and to post a picture of you wearing it. Canadian Tire encourages their fans on Facebook to share stories about biking, camping, and to talk about all those pesky home improvement projects all your neighbours are working on. What all top Canadian brands have in common is there tendency to tap into what makes them genuinely Canadian. That’s why it’s no surprise that good old reliable Tim Hortons is one of the top Canadian brands in social media. They just scream Canadian. Along the TransCanada, a Tim Hortons sign can be mistaken for the Canadian flag, and it’s a comforting sight to see after a long drive, or a night out on the town. Their fans on Facebook alone are equivalent to 5% of the entire population of Canada. That’s 1 out of every 20 Canadians who likes Tims. That’s a lot of coffee. But you can’t run on Timbits alone. Their recent partnership with American ice cream parlor chain Cold Stone Creamery shows they are willing to expand in a new direction. A fact they have yet to capitalize fully on in social media.
You know that picture of a Tim Hortons coffee cup on your wall most likely came from your friend posting it from his Blackberry during his lunch breaks. That goes to show you that there’s always an exception to the rule, and in this case that would be Blackberry. You wouldn’t even know that they’re Canadian unless someone told you, because their appeal goes beyond the snowy Canadian border RIM emanates from. On Facebook alone they currently run 34 Blackberry Pages from Canada to Thailand and everywhere in between. Simply consolidating communities would raise their global profile tremendously. For a while it became the most popular phone with young people due to their BBM messaging service. But the kids have moved on to greener apple tree lined pastures. If their new Blackberry 10 promo is any indication, they certainly know that they need to change or at least play to the current Apple dominated market to stay relevant.
Canadian brands are on the rise, and an easy way for them to gain marketshare online is to latch onto one of the most influential brands out there, “Made in Canada”. As changes within these companies occur in order to serve a wider audience, so should their social media strategies. When you think Canadian, you think of friendly and inviting, and these Canadian brands online are doing just that.