NEW YORK: Advertising expenditure on social media in Canada is forecast to increase by over a third in 2013 and to account for more than 10% of all digital ad spending by 2015, according to eMarketer.

The insights provider said that advertisers would spend C$267.1m this year on social networking sites, social games and social apps. This represented a 35.3% increase on 2012, comparable to the previous year's growth of 35.8%.

Further growth was predicted out to 2015, albeit at a slower rate. Social network ad spending was expected to reach C$325.8m in 2014, up 22% on the previous year, and C$396.8m in 2015, a 21.8% rise.

Throughout this period, social media adspend as a proportion of all digital spending was anticipated to increase steadily, from 6.8% in 2012 to 8.4% in 2013, and then 9.4% in 2014 and 10.6% in 2015.

Growth in user numbers is not keeping pace with this rise in spending, however, as most people who are interested in social media have already signed up and are engaged with them.

eMarketer projected a 4.6% increase in users for 2013, to a total of 17.7m or just over half the country's population.

One consequence of user numbers levelling off has been that ad spend per user is increasing. For 2013, eMarketer estimated that advertisers would spend C$15.11 to reach each social network user in the country, a 29.3% rise on 2012.

This figure will continue to grow in following years, by 16.9% in 2014 and 18.7% in 2015 by when it will amount to very nearly C$21.

Digital platforms generally are altering Canadian consumers' behaviour and businesses are reacting accordingly. A recent report from Canada's Information and Communications Technology Council said that 46% of Canadian businesses were using social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

This was far ahead of other digital platforms, with just 28% using dynamic platforms with user-generated content, such YouTube, and 16% using meeting applications. Curated content sources such as Slideshare were being used by 9% and digital applications like Instagram by 5%.

Data soured from eMarketer, ICTC; additional content by Warc staff