Different uses for QR codes for small business owners

We get a lot of questions about our favorite social media tools. Well, most social media tools can be useful in one moment or another and when they help you convert prospects into customers or strengthen the relationship with existing customers, I tend to love them.

There is one social tool that I think is one of the best things out there for savvy business owners.

It is the QR code. This simple code does something that every small business owner should dream about every night. It creates a bridge between the printed or offline world to the online world.

How powerful is that?

qr codes

I don’t know about you but when I started my business money was not easily available and every penny spent counted. One thing that annoyed me a lot was going to networking meetings and passing some flyers knowing most of them would end up in the trash really soon. If at that time QR codes were around things would be different.

QR codes stand for quick response codes. They store a lot of data- around 250 characters. Not enough? Well, it is a lot more than a tweet and people are doing just fine marketing themselves with tweets.

The QR codes can be scanned with any smart phone and will take the person to a web page, a coupon, a contest, whatever you can imagine. Just think of the possibilities. They are simple to create and very inexpensive. People can check right away and get the offer right away too.

Authors for example can have QR codes at the end of their book with an offer. Yes, I know you can add a web address to a page but let’s face it, how many times have you gotten a book or a flyer with a web adreesand took to your computer to check the URL? For me, most of the times I make a mental note to check the URL and then just forget.

I think QR codes can become huge allies for small business owners. Maybe what is missing is just some ideas on how to use the codes, so here is a list I compiled:

  1. linking to full text journals from print journals; making mobile friendly videos available at the point of need; embedding videos & links to extra help online in printed guides.

  2. QR Code on bus stations to allow you to purchase ticket without typing the message.
  1. At bus stations with the schedule

  2. Geo caching adventures

  3. Share presentations

  4. Music Downloads

  5. Apps downloads

  6. Self-branding

  7. Geo-based reviews

  8. Geo-based tours

  9. Green tickets

  10. Fashion

  11. Product details

  12. Offers

  13. Event details

  14. Contests

  15. Competition details

  16. Contact details- we use them in our business cards

  17. Coupons

  18. Random coupons- Starbucks does this very well, each time you scan you get a different offer.

  19. Social media Ids

  20. Links to your videos

  21. how to information in products

  22. How to information in printed materials

  23. Book offers

  24. Authors bio

  25. Use in Billboards

  26. Use in your shop window to entice reviews

  27. Maps

  28. Invitations

  29. Link to your blog

  30. Special offer on flayers

  31. On trade shows

  32. On trade shows where when you scan tells you to go to a specific booth for a freebie. (saw this one done by a company called Print concierge. Very clever!

Probably there are many more ways to use QR codes, just takes a little imagination and as usual, action.

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