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What Are QR Codes?

Social Sonar - Saturday, February 04, 2012

Quick Response (QR) codes are gaining popularity with smartphone users. A QR code is a two-dimensional bar code that holds some kind of information just waiting to be discovered. You would take a picture of the code with your phone and open it in your phone's browser (or use an app that will do it all for you in one place). Originally used to track vehicle parts, QR codes now allow customers to use their smartphones to scan for special deals or to learn "secret" information. 

A QR code links to a URL, so you can get creative with how you program your code to work for your business. If and when you are ready to use QR codes, here are a few suggestions:

~ Put a discount on a piece of direct mail advertising
~ Direct customers to deals on your Facebook page
~ Program an automatic Tweet or Foursquare check-in any time the code is scanned
~ Link to a YouTube video

If you are interested in creating a QR code for your business, you can make a simple one for free at http://www.qrstuff.com/. There are sites that will design fancier codes for a fee. Unfortunately, spammers can also pass along malware through QR codes, which makes some smartphone users hesitant to use them. QR codes are still a somewhat new advertising tool. Hopefully, as technology advances and people feel more secure using the codes, they will provide a fun and interesting way to advertise your business.

Have you scanned a QR code recently? What kind of information did it share with you?