After the 2016 presidential election, The KIND Foundation wanted to challenge consumers to "pop" their personal social media bubbles and expose themselves to new points of view and ideas. The Foundation leveraged the Facebook app to pair up users with strangers who were the most different from them, making it easy to follow any of them with a single tap. Users were invited to share the news with their friends on Facebook and encourage them to pop their bubbles as well. Due to the success of the campaign, The KIND Foundation is exploring ways to continue to expand the reach and efficacy.
Objective and Context:
In 2017, America is deeply divided. Social media, the technology designed to connect us, drives people further apart. On algorithm-driven platforms like Facebook, many people only see content from like-minded individuals in their news feeds, driving an even greater wedge between people with varying perspectives. In fact, a recent survey by Morning Consult found that only 5 percent of people see social media posts that differ greatly from their own worldview.
The KIND Foundation, a non-profit organization created by KIND Snacks, exists to foster kinder, more empathetic communities. Its strategic objective for creating “Pop Your Bubble” was to extend this mission to mobile devices and the digital communities people spend so much time in every day. Pop Your Bubble was a social experiment designed to use the same technology that divided people to bring them back together again.
The Foundation’s target audience was heavy Facebook mobile users throughout the U.S. who were stuck in a social media bubble but wished they could have a more well-rounded perspective. The Foundation intentionally didn’t limit itself to one specific region, gender, or age because this was a national issue that affected everyone.
To connect people from different walks of life, The KIND Foundation leveraged multiple media channels. It created paid social posts featuring different messaging to reach specific geographic audiences, adjusting content for red and blue states. All creative was optimized for mobile, driving users directly to The KIND Foundation’s app.
The Foundation also had an earned strategy that targeted publications with a diverse array of readers to reach the most varied audience possible. It adapted its posts throughout the program to maintain a balance of participants. By focusing on driving diversity among its users, The KIND Foundation not only made the greatest impact, but ensured users could be matched with the right people to pop their bubble.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The KIND Foundation launched Pop Your Bubble as a social experiment that anyone could participate in directly from their mobile device. First, the Foundation exposed the problem with a short social film, wherein 10 participants were shown the surprisingly skewed makeup of their political bubbles. It then challenged those participants to pop their social media bubbles and documented their reactions.
Next, The KIND Foundation built a mobile-first Facebook app with a custom algorithm giving the whole nation a chance to fix their news feeds by “popping” their personal social media bubble. Users connected to their Facebook account through the app. Then the algorithm analyzed their Facebook profiles to find strangers who were the most different from them, making it easy to follow any of them on Facebook with a single tap.
Finally, users were invited to share the news with their friends on Facebook, encouraging those friends to pop their bubbles as well. The users’ Facebook feeds would then be populated with thoughts, opinions, and daily updates of the new people they had followed, dramatically changing the makeup of their newsfeed and exposing them to new ideas, points of view, shared content, and daily musings.
Since Facebook is the most active social media platform in the U.S. and has the most active content-filtering algorithm, The KIND Foundation leveraged the social channel for its campaign. In addition, because 90 percent of Facebook’s daily active users access it via mobile, the Foundation prioritized the Facebook mobile experience.
Every aspect of the Pop Your Bubble campaign was designed with a mobile-first mindset, from the short social film that included closed-captioning to the thumb-stopping animated GIFs and static social posts that promoted the campaign to the mobile-first web app the Foundation created at PopYourBubble.com. The KIND Foundation also designed the media plan to specifically target mobile Facebook users on both Android and iOS platforms and used geographic location and other Facebook data for targeting to ensure it was reaching a diverse audience across different regions of the U.S.
The KIND Foundation is a strong but growing organization seeking to encourage kind acts both big and small. While it’s seen success with previous campaigns, the Foundation wanted Pop Your Bubble to make an even bigger impact around the U.S. following the 2016 election. Within weeks of the campaign launch, Facebook began rolling out changes to its algorithm and user experience to counteract the filter problem.
The Pop Your Bubble campaign met all objectives and far exceeded the goals the Foundation set at the outset. Results from the first two weeks generated:
Due to the success of the campaign, The KIND Foundation is exploring ways to continue to expand the reach and efficacy. The Foundation is also looking into ways to incorporate similar mobile efforts into its other campaigns and evergreen communications. Additionally, there have been an outpouring of requests to extend the Pop Your Bubble beyond the U.S., as the filter bubble problem is a global issue.