Jelly Skateboards didn’t go from an idea of two teenagers to a successful start-up enterprise worth US$650,000 from word-of-mouth alone. Advertising through social media has also played a big role in its growth.
The skateboard company located in the United States specialises in bulletproof skateboards made of polycarbonate, which is the same material used to bulletproof bank windows and the canopy on fighter jets. Since its creation in 2012, Jelly Skateboards has made it to several surf-and-skate shops in the U.S., as well as smaller ones in New Zealand, Sweden, France and Puerto Rico among others.
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The company’s next goal is to hit the Australian market with several new innovations to its skateboards, which you can read more about in the upcoming August issue of Business Review Australia. You can check out the July edition here.
Jelly Skateboards president and co-founder Sven Alwerud tirelessly promoted his product through social-media outlets—starting with Facebook—before eventually moving to Instagram due to the younger demographic it reaches.
Alwerud shared his story and social-media marketing techniques in depth at a recent “Boost Your Business” event, which was sponsored by Facebook. He created Jelly Skateboards’ initial Facebook page on New Year’s Day 2012, but acknowledged that he had a lot to learn.
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“I was a Facebook user, but I wasn’t that into it,” Alwerud said. “All the ads I saw before (on Facebook), I didn’t know how to get there. I had no idea. It was a huge learning curve, but you really just have to roll your sleeves up and go for it.”
When first starting out, Alwerud and co-founder Cody Leuck advertised heavily on Facebook, which Alwerud said was mostly just to test it out and to see if it was right for them—and it was. However, after talking to friends and parents, Alwerud discovered most of the younger generation interested in skateboarding is on Instagram.
From that point on, Alwerud and Leuck made a conscious decision to use both platforms to the best of their ability.
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“We noticed a shift when we started advertising in 2012 that kids’ parents are on Facebook now and it’s not cool anymore,” Alwerud said with a laugh. “We like to use both tools to fully encompass our demographics. Most kids are on Instagram.
“With Facebook, the ads are just so incredibly powerful. You can target so many people in different countries. It’s crazy how precise and how honed-in you can get.
“If we want to test some images on Facebook for ads, we’ll actually post them first on Instagram to see what gets the best reactions and the most likes. We’ll use that image on our Facebook ad because we know it resonates well with Instagram users.”