There’s a weird thing with social platforms and QR codes.
While scannable code images which connect users to your accounts more easily come with a lot of promise, they never seem to catch on the way the networks seem to expect. Sure, taking a picture of something with your phone camera would appear to be a much more convenient way to connect, but it seems that most people are fine with searching and finding it themselves.
Yet, social platforms keep rolling out QR codes to connect users to profiles.
The latest on this front is Facebook, which is offering a new QR code option for Pages, including posters you can use to promote your account.
There’s also a range of options on the actions users can take when they can in the code. Page managers can choose a code that:
- Automatically Likes the Page on the users’ behalf
- Checks in to your business location
- Connects to a recommendation screen for the Page
- Connects to your ‘View Offers’ listing
- Connects to a review Page
There are some interesting options there, and with Facebook continuing to push the use of its Camera, it makes sense for The Social Network to be encouraging the adoption of such tools.
But the key question is whether they’ll catch on, and what they’ll add to the discovery process.
As noted, QR codes, in varying forms, are now available on virtually all the major platforms.
- Snapchat has ‘Snapcodes’ available for all accounts
- Twitter has QR codes available via your account settings
- Messenger has ‘Messenger Codes’
- Instagram’s testing ‘Nametag’ codes
- Pinterest has ‘Pincodes’
As you can see, there’s no shortage of QR code options available, but I’m willing to bet that you weren’t aware of at least a couple of those. That somewhat underlines the point – while QR code options are available, they’re not overly popular, at least not in most regions.
That said, QR codes have become particularly popular in Japan and China. According to The Economist, QR codes enabled more than $1.65 trillion in mobile payments in these two countries alone in 2016. That could be why social platforms see such opportunity in the option – not only are they catering to users in these regions (those who can access their platforms anyway), but they may also be anticipating that the trend in usage will spread to other areas.
Thus far, however, that hasn’t been the case – though there have been some more innovative and interesting uses of QR codes that could spark more interest.
Last year, Facebook started testing out a new QR ‘Rewards’ program, which would theoretically enable Pages to use specific QR codes for products and have them linked back to people’s Facebook accounts.
That would enable brands to better link their online ad efforts with offline results – each time a user utilized a QR code, that’s a clear result of the Facebook campaign. If Facebook were to also incentivize such actions by adding a special ‘Rewards’ page, with Page offers highlighted, that could provide a range of benefits.
Facebook hasn’t looked to push this as yet, but that seems like a more interesting, and engaging way to utilize QR codes. But then again, as noted, the larger emphasis for Facebook could merely be on encouraging more use of the Facebook Camera, which they’ve been ramping up by adding in more and more Facebook Stories options.
Really, it does seem like QR codes need something more to get people engaged, and extra motivation to get them scanning. Maybe Facebook could help improve take-up as they integrate QR codes into their new, image-recognition triggered AR experiences.
Either way, you now have more QR code options – if you want to check them out for your own Page, try out this link, but with your Page name replacing the ‘PAGENAME” indicator: