3.06.2013

QR Codes and Social Sharing

This morning, I read an article on Mobile Marketing by Dale Remie, founder/CEO of Grapevine QR, titled "The Missing Link in QR Code and Facebook Marketing."

If I read Dale's article correctly, he is basically saying that, when a company uses a QR Code for promotion or advertising purposes, it should link the code to Facebook, so as to take advantage of the "power of Facebook," specially Facebook "Likes," in order to generate something viral and to increase exposure and sales.

While I can understand Dale's point to a certain degree, I believe it needs to be ironed out a bit more.  First, if a consumer has never actually bought, used, tested, tried, sampled, seen, held, etc., the actual product or service being advertised then how relevant and meaningful is a Facebook "Like?" In my opinion, not very. So, instead of using a QR Code to promote or ask for a "Like," maybe companies should focus on using a QR Code to help sell the product or service first and then worry about or ask for a "Like" later.

Second, and I have written about this before, social sharing via Facebook or any other social network, or even by email, should always be part of a QR Code-based campaign. Companies should always provide readers of their QR Code-based advertisements a mechanism by which they can easily pass along and share the experience and/or scan resolve content that was triggered via the QR Code. (Does word-of-mouth marketing ring a bell?)

Third, as much as it makes sense to offer consumers the ability to share an experience socially, the most important aspect of all of this is that the experience in and of itself needs to be worth sharing. I see so many QR Code-based campaigns that are nothing more than a link to a website or a landing page or a product page, and that's it. Or, a link to a video and that's it. No real experience, engagement or interaction to speak of, no exciting or innovative presentation of product information, no fun or different game to play to learn about the company or product, etc. So, the question can then be asked, why would a consumer wish, or be expected, to take the time to share the experience if they themselves were not that overwhelmed by it?

It's all very simple, as the QR Code-based campaign is being developed, put yourself in the consumer's shoes and ask yourself some of these questions. Dale makes some good points in his article, but I believe it goes beyond relying on the "power of Facebook" and whatever that might mean from one person to the next.

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