Building a loyal social media audience takes time, and gaining followers is the first step.

Meaningful engagement from the right audience is the ultimate goal.

Brands resort to several online and offline channels to grow their audience, and amidst that, QR codes stand out from the crowd.

As an effective cross channel tool, QR codes can serve as a tool that can help brands market, monitor, and analyze customer behavior. It’s also an extremely user-friendly technology given the current level of consumer awareness.

QR codes, one tool for multiple platforms

With the usage of QR codes soaring, you must have come across a QR code on a menu or a product.

Besides creating engagement by prompting the user to scan the code and take the required step, QR codes help gain analytics. Insights on how well a campaign’s performance is, and how your audience interacts with your marketing tactics can be gauged,

In this article, we will be talking about how QR codes have the upper hand, multi channel-wise, content-wise, and as an analytical tool.

Here are 7reasons why you need to replace that “follow us” button with QR codes,

  1. Merge your offline and online audience

Capturing your audience’s attention may be easy, but to get them to follow your social media or engage with your brand needs the extra push. That’s exactly what QR codes do.

Brands can use a QR code generator to create QR codes that can be used on flyers around a store, for coupons, and so on. When the audience scans the QR code, which is attached to a CTA such as “scan to know more about us” or “scan to follow the latest updates”, they are redirected to the desired social media profile.

For instance, as a small business, having customers who come in-store, scan the code, and be led to your social media handles leads to increased followers. Not only do QR codes prompt customers to take that extra step, but they also provide insights as well. Analytics such as the number of scans, how well a campaign is performing and engagement rates can be garnered.

2. Showcase brand image

It’s always important for a brand to keep an eye out for trending statistics and tactics to use. While statistics mention that color improves brand recognition by up to 80%, now is the time, more than ever, to switch from the idea of black and white QR codes.

One can create a custom QR code with the logo of the brand, desired color, and modify elements of the QR code as well. This helps your audience recognize and interact with your brand better, along with building trust.

QR codes are quite versatile with the information that can be shared, but adding a dash of creativity along with it helps showcase brand authenticity.

An advantage that comes with using QR codes is that they can be easily shared and they merge desktop and mobile experience. Over half of the internet’s traffic is now mobile, and QR codes help cater to the increasing mobile audience.

3. Business cards, but smarter

Business cards have been around for decades, and are a must-have for any organization. But over time, most business cards are discarded, with little information as to whether the recipient has saved the necessary details.

A step ahead of traditional business cards, one can leverage vCards, which perform as digital business cards. Printing a vCard QR code on your business card, helps a potential customer access contact information, name, display picture, social handles, or any other supportive links added. Post scanning, a customer can instantly be directed to your social media handles.

Vcards are a step ahead with analytics, and brands can analyze the audience engagement rates, related metrics such as time, date of scan, and so on. This helps gauge the effectiveness of outreach.

4. Let your product do the talking

Due to the proven versatility of QR codes, brands have started adapting smarter packaging with QR codes. Regardless of how large or small your business is, it proves to be ideal as they can leverage post-purchase customer engagement.

With post-purchase engagement, one can offer discounts and coupons as a way of repurchase, provide more information regarding the product, and so on. QR codes blend well with product packaging and are usually attached with a prompting call to action.

Brands such as Coca-Cola have leveraged QR codes in their packaging to provide information such as product expiration dates, videos, and participation in customer retention programs. Apart from these, linking social media handles to QR codes, prompting them to engage in a social media challenge, or caption a picture with a trending hashtag are some ways of gaining followers on social media.

5. Get your customer support, on social media

Amongst other resources in the company, a brand cannot do without customer support. Offering better customer support is the way to maintain brand impression and reputation. While text and email support are mandatory, offering social media customer support goes the extra mile.

QR codes on marketing materials and product packaging can lead to social media handles. Customers can ask queries and be responded to in minimal time and work in terms of effectiveness and as a way of gaining followers. Providing an alternative of call/text or email support and ensuring that the query is resolved can lead to better customer service.

With customer support on social media,

  • Brand awareness sees a significant boost
  • Retargeting is easier, with emails and offers based on social media followers
  • Faster customer support leads to a more positive customer experience
  • In case of an audience that makes a purchase without following the brand on social media, efficient customer support could lead to an increase in followers
  • Increased engagement with potential followers

6. Social media allows interaction with a global audience

With the right tools in hand, reaching prospects, and engaging with them is easier. While advertisements serve as a one-way communication street, social media has the benefit of engagement on both ends.

Based on market trends or festive sales, you can create QR codes for prospects or customers. These QR codes can be shared via email campaigns as special discounts or coupons, on flyers, prompt them to join a trend with a hashtag on social media, and so on.

Most social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook have QR codes for user profiles. You can share Social media QR codes on print advertisements depicting a social media trend, encouraging customers to share their experience with the brand, accompanied by a CTA.

7. Get more ROI with your print advertising budget

Testing marketing campaigns should be a crucial part of your strategy. With ROI metrics, determining the increase in sales is easy. But one cannot get insights on how campaigns could be planned in the future and engagement rates for the current ones.

Most forms of advertising are effective, but it is reported that 82% of consumers trusted printed advertisements better. When investing in print advertisement, QR codes can be a vital key to growing ROI in the offline channel.

You could have QR codes on flyers, brochures, and other forms of print material, encourage customers to scan the QR code, to be led to social media handles or landing pages of campaigns. The presence of QR codes help measure metrics, and the impact it has on conversion rates.

So, are QR codes the smarter “follow us” button?

While “follow us” prompts have done their part of gaining followers for us, maybe it is time to let QR codes do the work. When you thoughtfully craft and plan social media campaigns, growth in appreciation and audience numbers can be seen. The current social media marketing landscape has an audience that prefers campaigns that are relevant to them.

Unique marketing efforts reflect a brand’s creativity and views. When there are brands out there embracing changes and newer marketing strategies, making QR codes work for you can help your brand stand out from the crowd.

About Author: Navya Muralidhar is a Content Marketer at MobStac who loves marketing as much as she loves the field of science. An avid reader with a sitcom obsession, nothing speaks of comfort more than some coffee and books.