Arizona Social Media - What are QR Codes?Have you seen a QR code yet? Maybe. Do you know what it is and what to do with it? Maybe Not. Well don’t worry we are going to get you up to speed.
What is a QR Code? “A QR (Quick Response) code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) which is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and smartphones. The code can contain encoded text, URL (website address), or other data.” – From Wikipedia.org
How to Use a QR Code? You will need a mobile device or a smartphone with a barcode reader application. There are many free barcode apps available, just make sure the app you download will read both UPC barcodes and QR codes. Select and open the barcode reader on your mobile device or smartphone. Simply place the QR code in the center of the view finder and allow the application to scan the code. Once it has scanned, it will ask you what you want to do next. If the QR code has an embedded URL (website address) in it, you can choose to open the link in your browser and view the website from your device. The link could take you to a specific website page or even a YouTube video.
A little background: QR codes were developed in Japan by Denso-Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota, back in 1994. They were initially used to track parts during vehicle manufacturing. Now they are used not only for commercial tracking purposes but marketing and advertising campaigns as well.
Business Use: Businesses are using QR codes in many of their print media advertising such as business cards, flyers, direct mail, newspaper and magazine advertisements. This is a great way to connect offline advertising to online content. Some companies are starting to put them on billboards (like in Time Square, NY), on buses, and even bus stop structures. A QR code can also be placed on a bumper sticker of a business owner’s car.
Best Buy is using QR codes on all their product tags in their stores, so consumers can scan the code and learn more about the specific product. Some car dealerships are placing QR codes on all their vehicles that will take potential buyers to a video of the car in motion and more information. And real estate agents are now including them on listing flyers of homes for sale so the potential buyer can see a virtual tour of the property directly on their mobile device or smartphone, while they are house hunting. These are just a few ways consumers will see businesses begin to use this new technology that is gaining popularity.
So, the next time you see a crazy looking image like the ones here, simply scan it with a free barcode app with your mobile device or smartphone and let the technology guide you to more information.

By: Rhonda Percell – Owner of JRK Enterprises and Social Media Consultant She can be contacted at 928-595-0847 or http://www.rhondapercell.com She invites all business owners in the Payson area to a Free Social Media Seminar this Wednesday (2/2/11) at Scoops from 6:30PM-8:00PM where she will be talking more about social media marketing for your small business and the use of QR codes.