A word from our Theme Sponsor – A Social Society, BMO. Check out their event Accelerating Small Business Growth in our Economic Times!
As a proud sponsor of Social Media Week Toronto, we at BMO understand that digital culture is ever evolving, providing ample opportunity for participation. As major brands develop their presence online, individual entrepreneurs connect with potential customers, artists showcase their work, journalists break the news, and the casual user shares a cool video with their friends.
The stats don’t lie – social media offers engaged audiences to those who choose to strategize and reach them. By the end of 2011, there were more than 800 million users on Facebook, an increase of 200 million from the previous year. Meanwhile, there were more than 100 million active Twitter users by the end of last year, collectively producing 250 million tweets per day.
Over the past year at BMO, we took a look at how people are using the internet and social media to engage with finance and business content. In May, a BMO InvestorLine study found a significant majority of online investors turn to social media platforms for information on which to base their investment decisions. The study found 40 per cent of online investors visit online financial communities or forums, 16 per cent track blogs, and 10 per cent access Facebook for investment-related input.
A subsequent study found half of Canadian businesses believe social media could increase their profitability. Though only 29 per cent of small business owners currently take advantage of social media, the survey found those that do use it to promote their brands, provide broader access to consumers and encourage referrals, among other purposes.
Equipped with this knowledge, BMO is proud to be a thought leader in providing content and sharing finance and business resources through our website, online SmartSteps communities, Twitter engagement and podcasts.
Beyond the finance world, this year’s Social Media Week schedule exemplifies social media’s vast applications from arts and culture to the environment, journalism to social change. With the opportunity to learn and share through these stimulating events, Social Media Week Toronto will surely provide new valuable insights and opportunities to connect with those in the city and around the world.