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Pinterest’s user base isn’t just on the site to browse pictures of cupcakes –they’re there to actively search for their next cool purchase.

While the site remains a treasure trove for recipes and other DIY goodies, Pinterest’s core platform has evolved into an inspiration gallery for consumers to sniff out new products without actually shopping. In short, Pinterest is “window shopping” for the digital age.

These qualities make Pinterest an ideal channel for startups and other Brands to share their products, solidify a brand aesthetic, and attract an audience of people who are willing to share their great finds with their social networks. Here are a few ways startup brands can take advantage of the Pinterest “window shopping” effect.

Make your content pin-able

Pinterest lets you add a “Pin it” button to content you post on your website, email newsletters, and other social media outlets. Adding a one-step button to your content will make users more likely to Pin it to their boards to share with their networks.

Keep tabs on the popular kids

Pinterest’s popular page is the hub of the site and an excellent way to keep up with what pinners are currently getting excited about. Keep an eye on what’s cool and look for places where your content would fit in with trending tags. You can also track any Pinterest tag on Pin Groupie.

Follow e-commerce etiquette and it might pay off

Make sure you add prices when you post an image of a product – Pinterest runs a “gift” board that features handpicked priced items and can drastically increase your visibility on the site.

Don’t be a loudmouth

Just like any other social media site, don’t bombard your followers exclusively with your own company’s blog posts and promotions – space out your original pins with content that is related to your company.

Build a community

All social media is, well, social, and Pinterest is no exception. Make sure your Pinterest isn’t a one-way billboard of your own content. Interact with users by “liking” or “re-pinning” their posts, and respond encouragingly to anyone who posts a picture of your product. Take Warby Parker for example; the e-commerce eyeglass retailer has built an impressive community by featuring bloggers on their Pinterest who post photos wearing their products.

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