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What will be the social media trends of 2014?

6 February 2014

Social media, have you heard of it? Supposedly it’s really going to take off. We asked in our enews for your thoughts on what 2014 holds.

Some are not so sure

Eek! No idea.

No idea but would be interested to hear.

Who knows? I don't think this growth was predicted anyway.


The general consensus is Twitter will continue to be one of the main channels for charities to concentrate on this year.

TV and Twitter synchronisation.

Twitter advertising, mobile marketing.

Less use of Facebook and flattening off of Twitter.

Twitter will continue to have the major focus.

Twitter will continue to rise; better integration across all online media.

More corporate players on Twitter.


Mark Zuckerberg will be hoping your psychic abilities aren’t up to much.

Decline in Facebook use by younger generation.

More Facebook ads, less Facebook generally, more viral content.

Less Facebook, more Google+.

Move away from Facebook towards more niche platforms.

Less Facebook more Instagram.

Something new(ish)

Are you planning on using any of these?

Vine, Storify – something 'different'.

Crowdfunding, blogging, selfies and selfie apps.

An increase in Google+ utilisation for brands.

I foresee Vines and Instagram video having a big impact on how charities deliver their key messages.

Private social networking (WhatsApp etc).

More brands using newer platforms (Pinterest, Instagram).

YouTube and Snapchat.

More focus on apps being used by young people, like Instagram.

New platforms will emerge but will have slow uptake.

Something that’s new, simple, easy to donate, transparent, where small amounts of money can have an impact.


How’s your budget looking?

Increase in above the line marketing spend on advertising and sponsored posts.

Paid and promoted posts – the only way to get reasonable reach seems to be through promoting posts and tweets.

More use of paid advertising – and people being turned off by it.


Have you got a budding filmmaker in your organisation?

More video content.

Short form video –  Instagram.

Better use of video/content marketing, in particular to communicate a charities impact.

In-house created video content. Creating personalised content for influential social media followers/audiences.

More use of imagery and video, great interactivity, cleverer campaigns, growth of smaller niche platforms.

More visuals and videos.


Back to basics.

I think the theme of 'storytelling' will be a trend.

More storytelling, less selling.

Measurement and engagement (check out our April workshop)

Decide which platforms to use, how and what to measure.

Social media use will grow meaning more people using it to find our organisation as well as commenting on our work.

More targeted messaging and measurement.

Improved monitoring.

Differentiating content between platforms rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Some brands will proliferate their presence; others will pare it down to the few platforms that work.

Further integration with CRM for complete customer experience.

A more joined up approach between charities and their corporate partners; an increase in charity popularity on social media due to them doing it better.

More treating social media interactions as donors and supporters, rather than numbers.

More of a focus on ROI of social media activity. More tools on influencing influencers.

Consolidation in the established social media, with smaller charities getting involved and older audiences getting more engaged.

Greater engagement with donors and service users.

Higher KPIs/targets for supporter and beneficiary engagement.

Proliferation. Facebook and Twitter continue to dominate but more and more sites developing and attracting large followings, requiring charities to try and be on many platforms all at once.

More engagement-focused strategies rather than broadcast.

User participation

Getting people involved.

More sharing of interesting content across lots of different social media in cross media communications to increase reach and reward.

More user generated content especially when doing fundraising events.  Creating more 'communities' online using social media as a platform. Especially for those who are connected to charity in a common way: London Marathon runners, Ride London cyclists, ambassadors etc.

Greater use for crowdfunding.

More attempts at crowdfunding.

We also asked:

How much will your organisation spend on social media in 2014?

More than last year – 56.1%

Less than last year – 1.5%

The same as last year – 42.4%

Do you think your organisation should spend more on social media in 2014?

Yes – 89.4%

No – 10.6%

If no, why? –

  1. It's unnecessary. A digital native runs our account.
  2. We do not have the funds to support this despite wanting to. The networking on offer through social media is great but funds need to be allocated to services first.
  3. We don't spend anything, it's just existing staff time.
  4. Until we can create a proper digital strategy and fund it, simply spending more will not bear up to cost-benefit analysis.
  5. It can be done for free.

My favourite bit of feedback:

I would personally like to see organisations being less fearful. Sensibly allowing employees and volunteers to reap the potential benefits of using social media, supporting them, and coming up with guidelines of what acceptable use is.

What would you like to know more about?

Talking of predicting the future our very own Mystic Vic’s been telling The Guardian what we can expect from charity communications in 10 years’ time.

Rob Newsome

digital and social media assistant, MSF UK

Rob joined CharityComms as communications officer in June 2012, progressed to become digital content editor and moved to Medicins Sans Frontieres in June 2015. There he works on social media and web content. Before this, Rob worked as a PR and comms officer for a charity in Delhi after completing his MA in multimedia broadcast journalism.