Did You Know? Social Media Tips for UNL Extension -- QR Codes, To Use or Not?


You’ve probably seen them in stores, in magazines and even on T-shirts – they are QR codes, those barcodes that resemble a fuzzy checkerboard. So, what do these weird two-dimensional squares do or why anyone would ever want to use one?

QR codes, or quick response codes, allow users to quickly reach a website using a smart phone. QR codes make web navigation easier because you don’t have to type in a URL into your phone.

All you need is a QR code reader app downloaded to your smart phone and you are ready to scan. QR codes don’t just make web navigation – and finding your information – easier, they also offer users something to enhance their information gathering. Creating an experience and enhancing the user’s visit is critical. Don’t just have a QR code go to a PDF the reader is already seeing. Make it something different.

QR codes also work well for things like giveaways and contests. When using a QR code, think of what will make the user’s journey easier, or what surprise will await them when they reach their destination.

Analyzing your audience also is important. Who uses QR codes? A Lincoln advertising firm recently completed a study on QR codes and found that while there is an audience for QR codes, not everyone – even college students – find them useful or are enticed by new technology. (http://www.archrival.com/ideas/13/qr-codes-go-to-college) So, be sure to still offer the web address and other necessary information you need to put out there.

-- Sandi Karstens, EdMedia