The Win-Win of Social Media Through Unexpected Uses. Pt. 2: Hidden Genius of QR Codes!

Duncan Hines Cake Mix QR Code

Still think QR Codes are useless?

When QR codes (QR = quick response) were introduced, success was implied. And then… nothing… because there weren’t enough people with phones with scanning ability.

BUT, with SmartPhone purchases on an exponential rise, and FREE QR code apps available on every device, it is inevitable the use of QR Codes by merchants, businesses, non-profits, etc., will also begin to surge.

Here’s the unexpected perk of a QR code I picked up the other day. Now, guys, don’t stop reading because I mention shopping! Because if you own a business, you will pick up on the importance of this example…

I was in Publix, and looking for a cake mix. As you see in the image above, when I turned over a box I was thinking about purchasing, I noticed the QR code. I thought, “Genius!” If I had hesitated over that selection, here was a quick way to check a recipe choice and determine – WHILE I AM STILL IN THE GROCERY STORE – if there were any ingredients I didn’t have at home and could buy on the spot! Otherwise, I may have gone home, looked up their website, found a cool recipe with that item, but found I was missing an ingredient or two.

This QR Code saved me an unnecessary trip and the ability to determine whether this product could serve another use for my needs. Without this option, I may have only considered it for its basic use and perhaps not purchased it, rather than consider this purchase for other dessert possibilities.


Here most of us consider QR codes just website driven. Ok, big deal, we can get to the website faster on our phones… But, no, now it has practical applications, too.

AND, for small businesses and non-profits, this should be golden. Cheap, easy and FREE!

How about printed QR codes for:

  • “liking” your business page on Facebook since most of your staff rarely remembers to tell customers about your page (and even you!)
  • following you on Twitter (another forgotten child)
  • for your newsletter subscriptions (need I say it again?)
  • videos and Your YouTube or Vimeo channel!
  • LOYALTY programs – Hello!?
  • a calendar event
  • your website  (which of course has all your CURRENT store information and specials, and all your social media links, right?!)
  • Your LinkedIn Profile -(if you have completed your profile and made a company page)
  • A contest – “scan to like our Facebook page and be entered in our contest to win a —“
  • products with specific FAQs (have you missed potential sales on certain high$$ items because you were too busy with other customers to answer questions?)
  • PayPal payments
  • Plain text or links of any kind

The list goes on and on… If you think of it, you can create a QR code for it. Photos, recipes, how-tos, suggested uses…

Where should you display these QR Codes? EVERYWHERE.

  • your store window
  • at events – you can’t talk to everyone at once
  • at your POS locations – while they have your attention
  • on products – to learn more if you are busy with other customers
  • on the back of your business card – there’s never enough room for all you want to say
  • brochures, flyers, ads – again, never enough room
  • as updates on your social media pages
  • on your car – tell me who doesn’t have their phone handy in their car at a stoplight?
  • on consumables – Peanuts in this cookie? Gluten Free? – get the picture?
  • on menus (no to-go menus lost in the car or stuffed in a junk drawer – handy on their phone to help them decide to come back)

Even doctor’s offices are applying this technology. Patient goes to a referred doctor and has a QR code for all their info for them to scan. Cool, huh? It’s already happening.

Remember, it’s an image

It’s virtually just a photo and anywhere you can place a photo, you can place a QR code! And the same FREE apps that give you the ability to scan a QR Code also give you the ability to create one!

Bottom line? It costs virtually nothing for you to be ahead of the crowd and attract the growing demographic of SmartPhone users (which obviously has disposable income if they are buying a SmartPhone – they aren’t cheap!).

Technology Marketing No Brainer, right?

Are we having fun yet?!

1.29.2013 P.S. It’s 2 days since I posted this and look what I ran across in today’s media:“McDonalds tries QR Codes”

Tweetchats – the Entrepreneur’s best hangout

Good things come...

This is my desktop background. It’s also true. And you Entrepreneurs are king with this concept!

Where can you find other hardworking successful people to learn from?

I participate in a few Tweetchats as time will allow, and I just wish I had more time for many more of them. I am SO energized when they are over.

How does so much energy flow in 140 character tweets? You’d be surprised. The need to condense thoughts has more impact on the information flow.

Tweetchat participants are frequently entrepreneurs, or just passionate about what they do. The energy literally jumps through your screen at you as you follow the tweets. I have learned a lot from them and have also been happy to share my knowledge on them. It’s a bit like finding dozens of mentors all in one place! A Mastermind group of sorts.

And if you’ve heard the buzz on the rise of Twitter popularity, Tweetchats are probably at the core of it. These chatters are having a ball at what they do and are more than happy to share their good business sense with you. Everyone benefits.

If you think you have an idea, find a tweetchat on the topic or business and start lurking to see what goes on at ground level, what bumps are in the road, and some great tips on how to avoid pitfalls.

If you’ve thought about it as a business or hobby, there is most likely a tweetchat about it. There are frequently guest experts who answer your questions and a moderator keeps everything running smoothly.

In addition, you gain followers who share your interests, you get to know some of them on a more personal level, and that often leads to more in-depth offsite conversations.

One more BIG plus: You become known as an expert in your field. Your knowledge is shown through your participation in the chat. People learn that you know your stuff and you can gain business connections through them. This is far better than advertising.

In fact, one of the main concepts often missed by those business people who don’t understand social media, is that there are few places where you can “show your wares” to so many at one time. Your expertise is what people seek, more so than your product!

So tweetchats, and all social media avenues, are a great hangout for experts in the field and those who would learn from them. Are you getting this now?

Use tweetchats as just one of many sources for searching your business topic and having access to experts.

What business torch is waiting to be lit within you NOW? Find a tweetchat and learn from the experts – you can just lurk for a few before jumping in. You’ll be addicted soon.

If you would me to send you a link for a constantly updated spreadsheet schedule of tweetchats, just let me know!

9 steps to Twitter power for the social media resistant

Cover of "Twitter Power: How to Dominate ...
Cover via Amazon

“OMG – I’m having coffee with my BFF!”

Those are not the tweets of Professionals and many don’t realize that professionals are using Twitter for mass media with great results.

Yes, there are a lot of people tweeting their everyday lives on Twitter, but professionals who use twitter recognize Twitter’s power of immediate communication and feedback for building their brand.

Now it’s your turn.

Think of the definition of marketing:

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (Approved October 2007)” American Marketing Association (@marketing_power)

Hello! That’s Twitter! … it’s even spilling over into political purpose. Think Egypt and the Middle East. Twitter is now the seriously accepted medium for communication for and with the public at large.

Get Started NOW!

  1. Create a twitter account and describe yourself in 160 characters (including spaces) or less for your profile.
  2. Enter keywords related to your business in the search box and follow some like minded tweeters.
  3. In 140 characters or less, tweet thoughts that would help others in your business – don’t spam others with promo tweets of your business or product.
  4. Click the “share” button on articles helpful to those in your business. Easy! You’ll be linked to twitter with a tweet created for you with a shortened article URL.
  5. If you do / don’t like something happening in your biz – tweet it!
  6. If you find a quote or photo that’s motivational – tweet it!
  7. When you are followed back or RT’d (retweeted), reply with a sincere thank you or at the very least, retweet (RT) one of their tweets..
  8. Tweet everyday – but set a time limit of say, 15 minutes – share at least one helpful article or your own tip for the day.
  9. Monitor keywords and your company name so you can catch comments about you and immediately respond to that tweeter publicly with a reply – known as a mention.

That’s a beginning for social media… go to for some more.

If you still think Twitter is a joke, maybe you were one of those who not too many years ago thought you didn’t need a website. But, before you start, make sure it is a good fit. Learn about Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Foursquare to start and learn which fits your business needs best.

Don’t be left in the dust!

“If you want more, you have to require more from yourself.”
~ Dr. Phil McGraw