Starting life as something of a cult online community, Reddit has grown to encompass some 330 million active users around the globe. And as one of the world’s most visible websites, it certainly has a lot of clout behind it. But while you might think that makes it prime ground for advertising, a word of caution: its users are savvy and likely to be critical of any obvious marketing ploys.

So how can you leverage Reddit’s huge audience and dedicated following to promote your brand? Well, the key here is to be subtle, trustworthy, and to know your way around the platform. First things first, if you’re unfamiliar with Reddit, you’ll want to set up your own account and spend some time familiarising yourself with how things work. And we don’t just mean in a technical sense. To the uninitiated, the language of Reddit can seem strange and confusing at first, full of in-jokes and impenetrable terminology. But if you want to utilise the power of this platform, you’ll need to know how to speak like a seasoned Redditor.

The same goes for learning the rules, too. Each subreddit, a sort of specialist community within Reddit, has its own set of guidelines. And nothing will make you seem more like an outsider than a flagrant disregard for the correct etiquette. Once you’ve grasped the basics, it’s time to start commenting, posting and interacting with the platform. The more you do so, the more ‘karma’ you earn, which will help you become established as a genuine and trusted user.

Next, it’s time to think about the best approach to promoting your brand. Typically, Redditors are very suspicious of anything remotely resembling a corporate post, so it’s important that your content feels natural and not forced. In other words, you’ll want to avoid posting a direct link to your product or website unless you can slip it organically into the conversation.

Instead, why not try purchasing Reddit ads, a service which allows you to tailor your campaign to specialist interest groups? Or, if you’ve got an interesting backstory behind your brand, you could consider hosting an AMA? Short for ‘Ask me Anything,’ these informal Q&As are a great way to boost visibility – although again they can backfire if things take too much of a promotional angle.

You can also use Reddit to source high-quality content for your social media portfolio, from GIFs and articles to viral videos and more. And if you’re looking to promote your business via a promotional giveaway, Reddit is a great place to publicise the contest within specific interest groups. Finally, the platform is great for market research and community management, providing opportunities to network with customers and potential customers in new and exciting ways.

For individuals, Reddit is a great place to browse some of the best content on the internet and find active communities with similar interests in common. And while it is a little trickier for businesses and brands to navigate its pitfalls, the results can be just as rewarding.