Through the Lens: @roam
August 11, 2017
The body aches for connection to the earth, communion with nature and good old fashioned play. Trapped in a concrete jungle, it’s easy to feel there’s not enough time to go outside and wander, to fulfill these fundamental needs. The team behind Roam is creating a movement to remedy that. We spoke with Editor Mary Anne Potts to discuss the inspiring platform’s process.
Says Mary Anne:
Roam was founded by a handful of outdoor media veterans—including myself and our founder/editor-in-chief Christopher Jerard alongside icons such as photographer/climber Jimmy Chin, snowboarder Travis Rice, and adventure photographer Andy Best—to reinvent adventure storytelling using the most dynamic creatives and most innovative technology of our time. Our mission is to bring exploration to life for a wide, mainstream audience—every day, on their phones.
Now we’re along for the ride. Read on to study the platform’s journey so far, and see where they are headed, after all, Roam wasn’t built in a day 😉
#roam #roammoment #explore #wander #travel #adventure #roamtheearth #goroam
Be Socially Conscious. Platform and Otherwise.
Is Roam an Instagram only platform?
Our content is fundamentally designed for social-first consumption on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, but also lives on our home website. Our signature Roam Report videos showcase our mix of dynamic visuals and bring context to the featured feats, such as snowboarding a volcano with snowboarder Jeremy Jones, sailing to Antarctica with explorer Mike Horn, or using climbing to develop sustainable tourism in Indonesia with climber Sasha DiGiulian. We are deeply committed to the issues and interests impacting the outdoor community, such as conservation, public lands, diversity, health and wellness, and cultural issues. We also try to surprise our audience with unique experiences in real life.
When Roam launched its Instagram, did you articulate a specific strategy—an editorial or engagement plan—or did it evolve naturally?
We did employ a strategy—to relentlessly surprise and delight by showcasing the work of the best content creators in the travel, adventure, and exploration spaces. It’s been incredible to watch the audience grow in size and engagement!
Shine Light on Unfiltered Voices.
How are posts chosen for Roam’s feed? Do adventurers submit, are posts curated from existing Instagram feeds?How do you refer to contributors i.e. adventurers?
We have a robust network of best-in-class content creators including legends such as snowboarder and Protect our Winters founder Jeremy Jones and Hall of Fame skier Chris Davenport and activists such as climber Sasha DiGiulian and skier/model Sierra Quitiquit. We also highlight hashtag submissions and viral sensations from across the Instagram community. Our goal is to support creativity and unfiltered voices. We love building relationships with new contributors and look forward to shining a light on their work.
Cast a Wide Net.
There’s a lot of talk about authenticity. What on earth does that even mean these days? Lines are so blurry—regrams and UGC and influencers and the whole nine yards. How do you define authenticity?
For Roam, our goal is to showcase the wonders and rewards of being an “explorer” on our incredible planet—and to move our audience to action. We understand that capturing this type of content experience is not limited to our known universe of creatives. Therefore we cast a wide net to find content that captures authentic wonder and beauty in a way that will surprise and inspire our audience.
Vision and Fundamentals.
What catches your eye in a photo? What are some things a picture must have for you to post?
We are looking for an artistic take on outdoor adventure that feels genuine and fundamentally supports the idea of celebrating and protecting our wild places.
Share a Palette with the Planet.
What’s the value of continuity in a person or brand’s Instagram? Is it important to define a visual style that becomes familiar?
We have worked hard to define a visual style for Roam that is flexible and yet also distinctive—a challenge! Blue ends up being our signature color, as it is the backdrop for all experiences on planet Earth.
Adjust Your Pipeline.
What information do you get from looking at your own engagement (if you even look at it)? Do you use that information to see what’s driving your business forward and then set priorities around those things?
Engagement is of critical importance to us. We feel lucky to be building a new brand from the ground up using the best known social media practices of today, so we study our engagement very closely. We are continuously adjusting our content pipeline based off of the engagement we see.
Keep Up with the Community Pulse.
Are there any instagram accounts you check daily? Who do you look to for inspiration in the space?
We love keeping tabs on our founding editors and core contributors—
—and many others to keep up on the pulse of the outdoor community.
Go to the Next Level.
What’s next for Roam?
We are getting ready to go to the next level with live exploration content from the field, published directly on social platforms. We want to bring the world at large and its explorers to life for millions of people on their phones. We are also increasing our video releases, so follow us to see incredible people and places! Our website is also going live very soon. It will be a place where you can get more insight into our stories.