Newcomers and web/social media reach

NikishaRG wrote: does anyone have any stats on social media & web reach w/ diverse communities? how about w/ newcomers? does the digital divide still exist?


So, I emailed her the info below, thought it might make a useful post.

Not sure if the info attached helps, but it might be of interest.
Also, check out the member numbers of newcomer social networking sites like:
They’re constantly increasing. And these are just the English language sites.  Many, many more in other languages.
Conventional wisdom (I think from the longitudinal survey of immigrants to Canada) suggests that only 30% of newcomers access formal community/government services, which means that these sites and social media in general will only be used more frequently.
We know that some major feeder countries to Canada have some pretty high adoption rates as well. Check out this “profile tool” to see some of the countries:
Additional useful reports/info:

Internet use among new Canadians

The Role of Internet-based Social Support Networks in Immigrant Settlement. January 15, 2010

Julie Xiaoping Lin, Graduate Student, Immigration and Settlement Studies Program at Ryerson University
Shuguang Wang, Professor of Geography, Ryerson University
James Wang, Moderator of NewBridger


As Doreena says, there’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence, some of which I’ve used in presentations, such as this one:
Hope this helps!


Subject:FW: The Multicultural Imperative 


Here’s a similar presentation you can share.
Below there is also a link to the original webinar.
I think it will be fine to pass this along, as they sent the slides attached and link to webinar recording to all who registered (whether they attended or not).
The data is Canada-wide, not GTA specific, but it’s still quite relevant.
Here’s the original overview of the webinar:
With Canada the second most ethnically diverse country in the world, Environics invites you to attend an exclusive webinar that will help you better understand the nation’s multicultural communities and how to successfully market to them. The  free hour-long event will begin at 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, and will feature results of a new study on the consumer behaviour of Canada’s two largest ethnic groups—Chinese and South Asians—and expert commentary on multicultural marketing from Environics Cultural Markets Research and Environics Analytics.

According to the latest census, between 2001 and 2006 close to 1.2 million people migrated to Canada, and with about 20 percent of Canadians now foreign-born,the nation is surpassed only by Australia in its ethnic diversity. But the number of foreign-born Canadians isn’t just increasing; the variety of their countries of origin is also expanding. Before 1961, almost 95 percent of immigrants came from Europe or the United States. Today, the largest groups of immigrants arrive from Asia and the Middle East. As a result, about 6 million Canadians report a mother tongue other than French or English. The third most common language spoken in Canada today is Chinese, surpassing the Italian and German spoken by earlier immigrant groups.

The changing face of Canada requires a thorough understanding of the fastest-growing Canadian segments, South Asians and Chinese. According to the new survey which examined a range of topics—including shopping, loyalty, beauty care, alcohol consumption and charitable giving—South Asians are more concerned about their personal appearance while Chinese consumers tend to focus more on skin-care than cosmetics. In addition, South Asians are more likely to participate in loyalty programs than Chinese. On the other hand, Chinese are more likely to donate to charitable organizations than South Asians but to a fewer number of charities.

Canada’s increasingly diverse population also affects the way companies research and analyze the data they collect because different cultural groups have their own frame of reference when responding to surveys. For example, research has indicated that South Asians tend to give higher scores overall than Chinese when it comes to attitudinal measures. If this curve is not taken into account, differences across cultural groups can be overstated and result in misleading conclusions.

The growth and diversity of the nation’s multi-ethnic populace also present new challenges to the ways businesses and not-for-profits serve their customers. Because settlement patterns differ by ethnic group, direct mailers using an ethnic appeal need to fine-tune their mailing strategy. In Toronto, for instance, where Germans tend to live dispersed throughout the city, marketers would have to target areas with 172,415 residents to find 10,000 Germans. However, marketers would only have to mail 31,429 residents to connect with 10,000 Chinese Canadians because they tend to cluster together. Such variables as language spoken, mother tongue and place of origin can affect how a company advertises its products to ethnic groups and how non-profits should go about serving these communities.

The Environics webinar will share insights and tackle issues like these as it explores Canada’s new immigrant and multicultural groups. The speakers will include thought leaders on marketing to Canada’s diverse ethnic populations, among them:

Dr. Doug Norris, Senior Vice President & Chief Demographer of Environics Analytics, will present key census data on Canada’s multicultural populations and extrapolate the findings to bring them up to date.

Kathy Cheng, Vice President, and Gautam Nath, Director, both with Environics Cultural Markets Research, will share some of the latest research on the behaviour and preferences of diverse groups and the implications for marketing.

Marco Campana
Tel: 416-944-2627, ext. 252
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Emma Flood <>
Date: Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 2:41 PM
Subject: The Multicultural Imperative

Good afternoon,


Please find attached the slides from The Multicultural Imperative web seminar this past Tuesday. To access the recording including audio please click here

Should you need anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Best regards,


Emma Flood
Marketing Coordinator

Environics Analytics
365 Bloor Street East Suite 300
Toronto, ON
M4W 3L4
Tel: 416.969.2733 direct
Fax: 416.920.1068



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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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