BMO Financial Group
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BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

October 25, 2013 06:00 ET

BMO Report: Use of Social Media Among Canada's Small Business Owners Up 42 Per Cent from 2012

- Nearly half of business owners use social media to promote their company brand

- Facebook and LinkedIn continue to lead the pack of go-to social tools for small businesses

- One-third of businesses use social media tools to track what is being said about their company

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 25, 2013) - Small business owners in Canada are becoming increasingly tech savvy, according to a new BMO Bank of Montreal report, with social media leading the charge as small businesses increase their use of digital technology.

The report, released today, also revealed:

  • The majority of small business owners (57 per cent) use social media - up from 40 per cent in 2012
  • Half of all businesses (46 per cent) use social media to promote their company's brand, while 38 per cent use them to sell their products and services
  • Another 38 per cent use social media to crowd source ideas or suggestions, up 15 points from 2012
  • One-third (35 per cent) leverage social media to track what is being said about their company, an increase of 17 points from 2012. One-quarter (26 per cent) track sentiment about their competitors

"These numbers show that social media tools are playing an increasingly important role for Canadian business owners as they continue to look for ways to increase and protect their brand profile while deepening their connection with customers," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Use of Social Media for Sourcing Talent on the Rise

According to the report, one-quarter of businesses in Canada (25 per cent) are using social media to search and source new talent, up 11 percentage points from last year. This increase is reflected in the spikes seen in the types of social platforms businesses are using.

The report found:

  • LinkedIn enjoyed an 87 per cent increase in engagement from Canada's small businesses, with 28 per cent of businesses currently using it - up from 15 per cent in 2012
  • Facebook also saw a significant jump, with 43 per cent of small businesses using the tool - up from 27 per cent last year
  • Nearly one-in-five businesses (17 per cent) are now using Twitter - up from 10 per cent in 2012

"While social media represents an effective way for companies to reach new and existing customers, many businesses are also leveraging the platform more and more to seek out talent that can help them continue to grow and succeed in an increasingly competitive economy," added Mr. Murphy.

Regional Findings

Canadian Small Businesses Overall Atlantic Quebec Ontario Alberta B.C.
Total Use Social Media 57% 65% 56% 59% 66% 56%
Facebook 43% 47% 32% 48% 40% 43%
LinkedIn 23% 19% 13% 29% 24% 23%
Twitter 11% 15% 8% 13% 10% 11%

All results come from a Pollara telephone survey of 301 Canadian business owners, conducted between August 22nd and September 10th, 2013. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 5.6%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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