QR Codes – The Skinny

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QR Codes Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve all seen these strange little codes popping up everywhere.

What is a QR Code? – A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code

How are QR codes used? – QR codes are 2d barcodes that act as a physical hyperlinks. Taking a picture of the QR code on your phone’s internet browser will jump to the page described by that QR code. So say you put the URL of your Facebook profile or website into the QR code creator, the QR code created will take people to that page when they take a picture of it on their mobile phone using a QR code reader.

How to generate a QR code – I used goo.gl It’s simple and it’s free.

1. Go to goo.gl

2. Shorten Your URL

3. Add .qr at the end of the link and go to that link in your browser.

4. Goo.gl will generate the QR Code for that link.

How about using it in your outgoing email signature?  Goo.gl provides automatic spam detection and  also provides analytics like Link History, Traffic, Referrers, countries, browsers, platform etc.

Where are QR codes used? QR codes are very flexible and can be used for more than just linking to a website. They can be used to automatically send emails, SMS messages, upload somone’s full contact details into your phone’s address book and more. QR codes can link to text you have entered, a website URL, a social networking profile, a Google maps reference- anything you can think of!

What do you need? First a smart phone, then a QR Reader. To download a QR code reader to your phone, simply go to the page while in your mobile browser and click on the download button. From there follow the simple instructions and you’re done! Google have created an excellent application for the iPhone and the G1 that is perfect for reading QR codes (look up ZXing on the devices) Blackberrys can use http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/blackberry/

Why are QR codes effective? QRcodes use the cellphone as the response mechanism. For this reason, they capture viewers’ interest at the very moment it is piqued. You don’t lose eyeballs by requiring people to manually input URLs or scribble them down onto a piece of paper that might get lost.

Who is using QR Codes? Many of today’s top brands are using QR codes. GMC, Ford, Google, Pepsi, Ralph Lauren, The Weather Channel, Best Buy, Chevrolet, Starbucks, Facebook, MacDonald’s and many more.

Above you will see the QR Code I have generated for my Supernova Studios website. First, ensure that your smart phone has a QR Reader. (most newer phones will) If not, download one to your phone from the links above. Second, simply turn your phone to camera mode and hold it up to your monitor “capturing” the QR code in the window. This should generate a link for you to click. Anywhere you see these codes you can do the same thing. My Blackberry requires that I take a picture of the code while IPhones you simply scan the code in camera mode.

In my next blog I can’t wait to share with you how I plan to be using QR Codes for my business. But in the meantime here’s a great idea for you: Use QR codes on your business cards! Your contacts can scan and save all your information when they scan your QR coded business cards!

Here’s a final tip – Want to generate “likes” from people who are interacting with your product or store in person? Generate Facebook Likers using QR Codes: http://www.likify.net/ Have fun!

Call Nancy to book your Nova Scotia virtual tour today. 1-877-745-TOUR or http://www.supernovastudios.ca

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About Nancy Bain

Our services include building optimized, functional and self managed WordPress websites, Nova Scotia social media training and consulting, interactive full screen high definition virtual tours with lead capture and print advertising. For most of our clients, we are their one stop solution for all things marketing, branding and small business development related.

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