It goes without saying social media has come a long way since the beginnings of Facebook. Companies are constantly finding new ways to interact with their consumer. If you’re lucky, you can personally address a company on Twitter and actually have a dialogue with them. One new channel of interaction, QR codes (quick response code), are becoming more and more popular. They’ve been around for a while but only recently am I seeing them fully incorporated into social media campaigns. I think the technology is brilliant but what I want to know if how it can be useful to a public relations campaign.
If we’ve learned anything from people’s reactions to social media it’s that we like the share. We see the online world as a giant community that we are constantly interacting with. The QR code acts as another device to contribute to the community and share information. Unlike sending a link on Twitter or Facebook, the interaction you have with a QR code is pretty intimate. Not flowers and candy intimate, but it requires more of an interaction with it than simply pressing the left click on a mouse. It’s truly an experience to take a picture of the QR code with your phone and watch it take you somewhere else. Sharing information can be an extremely passive experience. This is not the case with QR codes.
The use of QR codes aren’t just for the technologically savvy. Several websites provide QR code conversions for regular Joe’s like me. Here is one I just whipped up using goo.gl:
This QR code links back to the main page of my blog. Al I had to do was click “details” and it had the option to use the QR code right there. The process couldn’t have been easier.
The real questions is, how on earth do we incorporate this into a public relations campaign? In my opinion, if your client is looking for some real proactive interaction with their customers, this is a great way to do that. Events involving scavenger hunts or any event that requires step by step directions could utilize QR codes. Right now, this method appears to be the dark horse in the social media race but don’t totally discount it just yet!