By: Lisa Slagle, Founder & Creative Director
There’s this thing humans do where they don’t want to put something into the world until it’s perfect. We see this with new business owners a lot, waiting until the “right” moment to launch their website. We see this with photo shoots and the need to wait for perfect weather. And we see this with social media, wanting to post perfect photos that are ever-so-casually on-brand.
It’s funny how social media is changing because of the rise of Snapchat.
Posting to Facebook or Instagram now seems serious, permanent, like you should edit your photo to perfection or write a perfect caption that is still funny when it pops up a few years later in your “memories” feed. Although social media is fun, this feels like a lot of pressure.
Snapchat, on the other hand, which has 100 million daily active users, is based upon the premise of self-deleting photos. You take photos and videos within the app and send them to your friends or followers, who only have ten seconds to view these “Snaps” OR a 24 window to view what you post on your "Story" to everyone. Then they’re gone.
This instantly takes the pressure off— you don’t have to look perfect or make the best photo. If it’s a total flop, that’s okay-- it goes away. If it’s the best photo you’ve ever taken, it still goes away. In a sense, this is a more whole view of reality. It’s an opportunity to put an unedited snapshot or live stream into the world without much emotional attachment, where your intentions shine through regardless of photo quality.
There’s something very playful about posting things that you know will disappear.
Facebook responded by making "Facebook Live" available on your phone, where you can live stream anything you want right onto your wall. Pretty powerful stuff.
The question that remains is how can the outdoor industry use social media with unedited live feeds?
The possibilities are endless, but one thing that I think should go big is live stream sessions.
One athlete who is already the king of raw, one-shot edits is mountain bike prodigy, Brandon Semenuk. His video parts are minimalistic, all-in, and focus on riding without falling. (If you haven’t seen his video part from UnReal, you should find it because it’s mind-blowing, but for now, here’s a link to the making of it.) It’s a run where he lands every single trick, and a truck follows him around a winding course, which creates all kinds of amazing camera angles. Semenuk does the same one-shot style in THIS equally baller video. These are runs where he lands insane trick after trick and doesn’t crash or bobble even once.
How can we take Brandon Semenuk’s mindset into social media? Live feeds of our action sports. Earlier this week, I recorded a fun conversation for our Outside by Design podcast where pro snowboarder, Kimmy Fasani, and I talked about the progression of snowboarding and social media. (Keep your ears open for that on our podcast in the next week or two.) We muse about using Snapchat to have a jump session where you post whatever happens, whether people are landing their tricks or not. It will feel real because it is real.
It’s an opportunity to test new tricks and share that journey with people.
The outdoor industry can also use Snapchat (or Facebook Live) to capture the grit and pain and imperfection of adventures. Wind, rain, getting shut down by nature. Adventures are rarely pulled off without flaws. Now we can share that grit without feeling pressure to make it look more perfect.
Conversely, we can share victories. High fives. Summits. Laughter. All live.
It’s an opportunity to put life on the table.
See what happens.
If you'd like to hear how to use Snapchat or Facebook Live for YOUR company, I'd love to talk about it. If you're interested in hiring WheelieCreative to make wild, meaningful, irreverent, or hilarious content for your brand, I'd love to hear that, too. Just hit the orange button below: