How much value does your company place on using QR codes in your social media marketing? A year ago, many companies were just starting to learn about the use of QR codes. Today, these digital imprints on banners, business cards and web advertisements have become the next ‘got-to-have’ marketing tool.
Let’s back up. For the uninitiated, QR codes are a mix of data that can be read both horizontally and vertically. They are used for their fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard barcodes. Some have called QR codes “barcodes on steroids”, because of all the information that can be stored onto it. The key advantage is that while barcodes are useful for only identifying products and objects, QR codes are embedded with specific information that can be opened with a QR code reader, which are becoming ubiquitous on most consumers’ smart phones. The smartphone market has exploded in the last couple of years. Here’s a big shift happening right before our eyes: Smartphones now account for 50% of all mobile phones in the United States, Nielsen reports.
- Does your current marketing plan include QR codes? Should you use these codes to reach more mobile-connected customers to educate them about new product offerings, company achievements or daily specials? That depends on two key factors:
- How many of your targeted customers are using the mobile web to gain access to your online brand, products and overall company experience? If you run a business influenced by this audience, then your answer should be obvious.
- Is your company ready to embrace and maintain a QR code campaign to drive your own social media marketing, branding and other marketing objectives? That will take some time and effort, but if you’re prepared to work through the investment, you’ll find that QR codes can enhance your marketing activities.
You can search online for tips about using QR codes to reach a targeted audience audience, and you can already see some examples of successful QR code campaigns from this year. But it’s clear that QR codes will continue to grow in use and popularity in the coming years.
Facebook this week brought a lot of attention to QR codes. The soon-to-be-public company recently moved into a massive new complex in Menlo Park, CA and company Founder Mark Zuckerberg wanted his employees to decorate the building. One of the teams grabbed some tar paint, climbed to the building’s roof, and painted a QR code on Facebook’s rooftop! Crazy publicity stunt or something more? We like to think it’s something more.
In Facebook’s case, the ongoing activities linked to the QR code may help to bring about a more personable touch to the massive company as it nears its May 2012 IPO. How can your company use QR codes, alongside your traditional online marketing and social media marketing? Let us know in the comments below.