The Influence of Influencers in Canada: A Census-balanced Survey About Social Media Influencers in Canada

65% of Canadian adults in our survey (n=1500) reported following social media influencers on at least one social media platform

Once considered a fad, influencer marketing is growing in importance. Since 2019, its market size has more than doubled and is now valued at 164 billion U.S. dollars. Many marketers and brands now see influencer marketing as an important way to build brand awareness, reach new audiences, and increase conversions.

According to a new report, “The Influence of Influencers“, released today by the Social Media Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University, 65% of Canadian adults in our new survey reported following social media influencers on at least one social media platform.

“The survey provides yet more evidence that influencer marketing is no longer just a fad and is here to stay,” said Mai. “Of all of the social media platforms included in our survey, TikTok is by far the most popular platform for consuming influencer content in Canada.”

The aim of this report is to provide decision makers and the public in Canada with new data and insights into the nature of the influence of social media influencers in Canada. Our data reveals that influencers are particularly effective in prompting Canadians to look for more information about products/services; for example, by encouraging their followers to visit links they promote.

The data was collected between May 12–31, 2022 and is based on a census-balanced online survey of 1,500 online Canadian adults (18+). 

For more information about the research or to speak to the report’s authors, please contact Philip Mai via info@socialmedialab


  1. TikTok is the most popular platform for consuming influencer content in Canada, followed closely by other video-based platforms, such as Twitch and YouTube. Sixty-eight percent of TikTok users reported consuming influencer content frequently on the platform.
  2. Food content is the most popular genre (category) of influencer content in Canada. Forty-two percent of respondents who consume influencer content reported consuming this genre of content.
  3. How-tos is the most popular type of influencer-created content consumed by Canadians. Seventy percent of those who follow an influencer(s) reported consuming this type of content.
  4. When it comes to the credibility of social media influencers, Canadians value factors related trustworthiness (i.e., honesty, trustworthiness, reliability) and expertise (i.e., knowledge, experience, qualifications) over an influencer’s attractiveness (i.e., attractiveness, sexiness, elegance).
  5. Influencers are especially important when it comes to building awareness about certain products or services; after being exposed to content from an influencer, most Canadians reported doing online research about or visiting the link associated with a product or service promoted by an influencer.
  6. When it comes to factors influencing users’ purchasing decisions online, recommendations by an influencer have roughly the same importance to users as traditional advertisements such as online and offline ads.

The full report is available for download from here. Below is an interactive visualization of the results with some key takeaways from the report, including the genres of influencers Canadians are following, factors that influence trust in influencers and activities social media users take after consuming content from influencers.

The Social Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University. The lab studies how social media is changing the ways in which people and organizations communicate, disseminate information, conduct business and form communities, and how these changes impact society. The broad aim of the lab’s various research initiatives is to advance the public’s understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of social media adoption.