What is a QR Code?

The newest necessity in social media may be the QR Code. But the technology is so new that many businesses and consumers alike are not aware of or do not understand this new tool. So, what is a QR code and how can it help you better promote yourself and your business?

QR Code

A QR Code Example

What is a QR Code?

A QR code is, in its most basic definition, a square shaped two dimensional bar code. Much like an actual bar code is encoded with product information, a QR code is used to store data. This data can take many forms including text, URL or photograph. A QR code makes this data mobile and easily accessible.

How do I Use a QR Code?

So, how do you use a QR code? When you see one of these little squares, you can easily scan them with mobile apps such as RedLaser or, if you have access to one, a bar code scanner. Once scanned, the QR code will display any embedded information. It’s as simple as that – discover what juicy information that QR code holds simply by scanning it. You can also easily create QR codes on the RedLaser website.

There are a variety of ways to create an innovative QR code campaign. A key tip to making your QR campaign successful is to offer something more interesting and valuable than just a link to your home page. If someone takes the time to scan a QR code, they’re hoping to get a coupon code, an eye catching video or other information. Being creative when implementing a QR code campaign can set you apart in the marketplace.

QR codes have been prevalent in Japan and South Korea but have just recently become de rigeur in the US. Implementing a creative QR code campaign can differentiate you in the marketplace and keep you on the cutting edge of technology.

As an end user, scanning QR codes could garner you valuable discounts or even hilarious videos.

Eli Rose QR Code

Scan this for a QR Code example


  1. angela

    I keep seeing these in magazines but had no idea what they were called! I also don’t think much about them, because my phone can barely scan through my contact list without help 🙁

  2. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli

    I had no idea about these codes, I’ve seen them but didn’t know what they were for.
    Now, do I need one?
    I shall get this red laser app.

  3. Tom

    Good overview on QR.

    Btw, there’s a Memphis startup about to use QR in a very cool new way. It’s called stiQRd (www.stiqrd.com) and their concept is to replace all those store loyalty cards in your wallet and on your keychain with an app on your phone. Takes the hassle out of loyalty and gives retailers flexibility in their benefits/promos. Good stuff.

  4. Rebecca

    SO if I’m on my mobile is there a way I can capture a QR code from a website (on my phone?)

    • admin

      You would need an app like RedLaser to read the codes from your phone.

  5. C.Mom

    Love the dancing ladies!!! And thank you for the suggestion of the reader app…..love this!

  6. Rebecca

    Right, I have the app- but as I access the web from my mobile- how can the app see the QR square from my phone? I understand scanning from the computer or an external source. I’ve checked out the help and settings but don’t see anything glaring at me.

    • admin

      I don’t know that you can scan a QR code in this way. As the popularity of QR codes grows, you’ll start to see them out and about at stores and such. That’s when you’ll have a chance to whip out your smartphone and scan to read the information “hidden” there.

      • Tom

        Depends on the app. I have an android phone with the QR Droid app. It has four options for reading codes: saved image (like if someone emails you a QR code as a graphic); camera (lets you use the phone’s camera to scan a QR code); image URL (you can point to a QR code on a website and it will scan and read it); or history (haven’t played with this one yet).
        So some apps give you more flexibility than others.

  7. Amanda

    We are using a QR code in our Facebook campaigns at work. I made postcards with the URL and QR code, plus some posters to put up at events..it’s amazing how many people scan them. Our traffic is really going up thanks to it….and it’s SO easy to make one! No reason not to!

  8. Kate

    YAY! I did something right! My tech geek hubs made one of these for Sluiter Nation months ago and I just had it put on my biz cards!

  9. Elena

    I went back and forth whether or not to put one of these on my biz cards when I went to GleekRetreat. I didn’t at the time, but think for the next batch of cards I will. However, I need to get rid of the ones I have which may lead me to just standing outside a Target and handing them out to random people.



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