QR Codes + Social Media Marketing = Gold
How much value does your company place on using QR codes in your social media marketing? A year ago, many companies were 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 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 stored on 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 is becoming ubiquitous on most consumers’ smartphones. 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, and you can already see some examples of successful QR code campaigns from this year. But 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 helped bring about a more personable touch to the massive company, as documented in 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.
With over 20 years of experience in the digital media world, Matthew has worked for and with Fortune 500 businesses and has built companies from the start-up stage to exit strategy. He recently helped develop a data insight engine to bridge the gap between search, social, and mobile marketing to maximize the visibility, relevancy, and predictive success of online businesses. Matthew is the founder of MINT Social, an award-winning digital marketing company that accelerates online marketing results to help businesses get found and thrive online. Matthew has developed an educational curriculum for Universities on social media for businesses, is a founding board member of the Arizona Innovation Marketing Association (AZIMA), a board member of HeroZona Foundation and on the advisory board (Vinnies) for St. Vincent de Paul - Phoenix. Matthew is a mentor with ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, a speaker on social media and digital marketing, and is a subject matter expert with many online portals.