As you may have read in Strategy magazine today, we’ve officially launched in Canada. Here, our Managing Director of We Are Social in Toronto, Coby Shuman, shares his view on the opportunities this exciting new market has to offer.
Our country is one of the most multicultural nations in the entire world, and our diversity has become central to Canada’s identity. So it’s no surprise that most Canadians turn to social to express their individuality; social has become a pervasive media. Canada has 25 million active social media users, 67% of our entire population! We regularly connect through our underdog athletes, homegrown musicians, poutine variations, extreme weather, humble patriotism, political movements and even our daily memes.
We also see more international choices where we have these conversations. An estimated one million Chinese Canadians are using WeChat, and in British Columbia alone, they spend more time on WeChat than the open internet. Speaking of the internet, 68% of multicultural Canadians say they only access the web to strictly to use social media.
Our brands have become an active social participant in Canadian conversations. A staggering 86% of all socially active Canadians interact with businesses on social media to one degree or another. But brands are on the defence as people’s frustration is on the rise while trust is on the decline.
We believe brands have an opportunity to transform this trend by becoming more purposeful on social. Those who go beyond reformatting advertising or pushing a paid conversion tactic can create a social value exchange and reap massive benefits.
This cultural backdrop made our decision to open doors in Canada an easy one.
The Toronto launch aligns to our wider growth strategy as a network, to expand into influential and culturally active markets. We want to launch in dynamic markets where brands have the potential to connect with people in meaningful ways, and Canada is a natural candidate.
Ambitious Canadian marketing leaders are hungry for disruptive socially-led creative ideas. We’re home to international brands, homegrown global brands, and a thriving Canadian startup community, all who can re-imagine ways to meaningfully connect with Canadians. This aligns well with our mission – to put social thinking at the centre of marketing.
I am thrilled to be taking on the Managing Director responsibility to open in my hometown. I will be leaning on all my experiences while learning from our world-class, global creative network. And I am grateful to be surrounded by a diverse and talented team who bring together culture, creativity and social insights.
We are lucky to have Devon Vipond as our Director of Research & Insights, leading this foundational discipline. Devon partners closely with our Strategy Director, Jeremy Singer who examines brands and the world around them to land their social purpose. Terra Boake is multi-talented, leading content from planning, editorial, design and partnerships. Our lead producer is Claire Trembley, who refuses to be stopped as she transforms vision to reality without fail. Finally, Dan Mosely is our client lead, bringing a wealth of eight years of experience with our UK office to us here in Canada.
If you’d like to be a part of this next phase in our journey, as we look to the future, then write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.