Launched in 2010, Pinterest is a platform for users to organise and bookmark ideas, 'Pinning' pictures to virtual pin boards. Describing itself as a 'catalogue of ideas', Pinterest is a great way to collect inspiration for anything from home décor to new recipes.Yet, much more than this, if you're a small business, it's an excellent way to promote your products and could even lead to some sales too.In 2015 the San Francisco-based company claimed to have 50 billion Pins on over a billion boards, and counting. This makes for a huge opportunity to get your products in front of an immense audience of keen Pinners, waiting (with their wallets in hand) for inspiration.And with much of the content now 'buyable' to users in the US, it's only a matter of time before UK users will be able to buy products directly from Pins they view on the site. So if you're selling something that might appeal to the legions of UK Pinterest lovers (particularly if it falls within the ever-popular DIY, food, home décor, holiday or wedding categories) read on for some sound advice.GET SET UPFirst things first, you need to set up a Pinterest business account for your website, online store or marketplace. If you already have a Pinterest account you've used for personal Pins, you can easily convert this to a business account. Remember, this will be your brand's 'board', or storefront, displaying all of your Pins (including your own products and any other things you Pin) so if your personal pins are really unrelated to your business, then you may be better off setting up a brand new Pinterest account just for your business.Next, and you should confirm your website with Pinterest. This will mean that you can add the Pinterest Save button to your store, so that potential customers browsing your online shop can save products directly to their Pinterest boards. Then all of their followers and friends will see your Pin too! Confirming your website also gives you access to stats and analysis on all your Pins, so you can see how much interest you are generating through Pinterest.PIMP UP YOUR PRODUCT PHOTOS FOR PINTERESTPinterest users love great photos; good pictures of your products will help to get them Pinned and re-pinned. And more Pins and re-pins means potentially more click throughs and more traffic to your website. So make sure you're displaying your products in as positive a light as possible. Portrait, as opposed to landscape, photos taken with a good quality camera are the basics. Then think about how to make your pictures look as eye-catching and unique as possible, with suitable lighting and balanced composition. Showing your products in situ also works really well as people can envisage how your products would look in their own homes. Good quality snaps of your products are easy to achieve and can be hugely rewarding. Doing some research around Pinterest will also mean you can see how your competitors are doing it.PIN YOUR PROUCTS WITH LINKS BACK TO YOUR PRODUCT PAGETo get your profile set up first you need to go all out with at least five boards. Pin your most interesting products, making sure to Pin them from your website, so when Pinterest users are browsing they will then click through to your site. Alternatively, if you're uploading custom images from your computer, you can add the referral link in later. You should also make sure you Pin images from across all of your social platforms- including any blogs you have or social advertising you do.And don't just pin your own things. Why not create boards themed around your products? This could include innovative ways to use your products or inspirational images and styling advice to complement the items in your store. It's also important to write Pin descriptions that will be as impactful as possible, using appropriate keywords. This will help your products to show up when people are searching on the site.STAY ACTIVEOnce you're all set up with your main boards, you should stay active with your Pinterest profile; try to Pin something at least once per day in order to remain as visible as possible, especially if you get new products in regularly. And on the back of any research you do on the site, find out what means a lot to your customers and try to create boards that will meet their needs.Pinterest done right has huge potential for your online store and your brand, as referral traffic will increase and in turn, the sales will hopefully come rolling in. And you never know, you might also find some avocado inspiration yourself. Or how to maximise space in your bathroom.For more expert help and advice on how to use Pinterest for business, check out the business section on the Pinterest website, full of advice on how to get your business set up and even more tips to get the most out of it.