Unveiling Truths, Connecting Communities

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The New Age of TikTok: How Brendan Ruh Grew Santa Cruz Paleo Using Social Media

Brendan Ruh
Sourced photo

It’s a cold windy night in Santa Cruz. Brendan Ruh, founder of Santa Cruz Paleo sits with his film crew analyzing footage and edits from their latest shoot.

What they are looking at is not for a commercial, a movie, or anything of the sort. Instead they look at about 50 pieces of 9-15 second content for TikTok and Instagram reels. 

Brendan is one of the many founders who have delved deep into the world of social media to grow their brand.

“I started using TikTok and reels during the pandemic and it simply performed better than any other content we posted.”

Brendan has surged from a few thousand followers to now over 400,000 across multiple platforms. 

The effect on his business he says has been substantial…

“I realized I genuinely use my products and live the lifestyle I promote so instead of paying influencers to promote our products I decided to become the influencer.” 

As large brands struggle to navigate the new waters of social media, founder led younger brands seem to be taking hold. The users on social media can sense when something is genuine and engaging with a post from most creators is just is not as cool as engaging with a piece of content from Brendan (@santacruzmedicinals).

Brendan is the founder of two companies, Santa Cruz Medicinals and Santa Cruz Paleo. They sell health and wellness products such as protein powders, deep sleep capsules, magnesium, vitamin D, creatine, and more. They do all their own manufacturing and operate with a lean direct to consumer approach. This has allowed Brendan to stay competitive price wise while maintaining margins to allow growth. 

“It has been a journey. We started Santa Cruz Medicinals 6 years ago, so we aren’t new to the health and wellness world. Santa Cruz Paleo is 2 years old but we think it will surpass Santa Cruz Medicinals in size in the next year or so.” 

Spending time with Brendan, he seems busy. Always taking a call, on his phone sending an email, or filming content. On his TikTok and Instagram he posts multiple times per day. The key, he says, is that not all the posts are promoting products at all. They are just simply providing free, useful information. 

“If you actually want to grow on social media you cannot just push your product. I provide tons of free info, recipes, and fun posts that I genuinely believe help people. Occasionally, we will do a product focused post but that is probably only 15% of the content.” 

Overall the growth on TikTok and Instagram, he says, have positively affected his businesses and he plans to continue the social media push to fuel the growth. 

If you want to see what Brendan Ruh is up to, checkout @santacruzmedicinals on Instagram and TikTok and if you want to try some of their products search Santa Cruz Paleo on Amazon. 

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