Social media has never been more popular – people rely on all kinds of networks to market, advertise and interact. On a similar note – yet not as popular, QR codes seem to be extremely helpful in a series of different situations. Most importantly, they make an almost instant connection between the online and offline worlds.
Putting these two different elements together can be a million dollar idea in marketing if you use it right. Use it wrong and while it will still work, you will not go too far. Basically, there are multiple uses for QR codes when it comes to social media networks – especially Facebook. Knowing how to take advantage of each of them will prove helpful in the long run.
Another good news is that most people rely on the Facebook application, so codes will open in their apps when scanned – even more convenient.
But before learning how to generate and use your code, what are the benefits of using a Facebook QR code?
How to use QR codes for Facebook
There are plenty of benefits associated with this marketing technique and each of them requires special attention for a perfect implementation.
Most commonly, marketers use Facebook QR codes to get likes for their pages – just like others want followers on Instagram or Twitter. At this point, you have two different options. The first option implies linking to your own page. Someone sees your QR code and scans it. Your page will load up in the Facebook application or a browser.
The user will gain access to your page and all the information available on it. This option does not guarantee for a like though. They will scroll through it and they will decide themselves. They can like it or not.
The second option implies linking to the liking action. Simply put, you can link the Facebook liking action to your QR code. When someone scans the code, the page will load up in the browser or app, but the user will automatically like it too – unless they are blocked from liking pages. While this method brings in more likes, it is considered to be spam.
Most marketers agree that leaving this decision to the user is a fair idea.
You do not necessarily have to ask for likes. You can use the exact same principles to get followers. Followers apply to pages (people can follow a page and see updates without liking it) or profiles. Sure, when you run a business, you should start a page and not a profile (it is against Facebook’s rules and it looks unprofessional).
On the exact same note, you can get people who scan your code to like a picture, see a post or share it. It is all about the link you choose to add to your QR code. From this point of view, you might want to link the post advertising for a competition – regardless of its type. It could be a like and share competition or a real life event – up to you.
The post or image can be about anything. It might be a picture advertising for your special offers. You might as well link to a coupon or discount code. After all, people expect something in return. Many businesses provide incentives for those who scan their codes, so you might as well come up with a reward for scanning your code and doing whatever you asked for.
Even if someone does not use the Facebook application, the link will open into their default browser. But then, in order to do something that you ask for, they must have a Facebook account. Everything you want to do on Facebook requires an account – even seeing a post or an image.
How to make a QR code for Facebook – First method
The first method is the classic one. It involves generating a basic QR code with a link to your Facebook page. It is more versatile than Facebook’s proprietary method for some obvious reasons – you can link anywhere on Facebook.
You can link to a post or an image, but you can also link to the actual action someone can perform. For instance, you can link to the liking or sharing action, so people do things automatically instead of having them do it – not always a good idea because it might feel like spam.
To generate a Facebook QR code, you will have to find a QR code generator. Most of them are available for free – a simple search over the Internet will provide plenty of options. But then, they say you get what you pay for. Therefore, basic services will give you a good code without too many customization options.
You can also choose to pay and get a deeper level of personalization – your logo in the middle, the Facebook logo or perhaps a pattern. You can also use colors, but stick to the basic rules for maximum scannability – good contrast, dark foreground and light background. If you fail to do so, some smartphones may not be able to scan your code.
Premium services may also allow saving the code in a vector format, which means it does not get pixelated if you resize it.
Once you generate the code, save it and use it anywhere you want – billboards, magazine, flyers, packaging and so on.
How to make a QR code for Facebook – Second method
Facebook has not commented too much on its own proprietary QR code generator. Instead, marketers and experts had to figure out how it works themselves. Moreover, it was a surprise for many to find out that this feature was available in certain countries only. From this point of view, it may still be under development or perhaps it is only being tested.
All in all, in order to generate your own code via Facebook, you will need to go to the publishing tools for your page. If you can find an option to generate a QR code, consider yourself lucky. The best part is that Facebook allows a series of different designs, patterns and styles. However, you should still double check the code with multiple devices and apps before investing in bulk printing.
There are numerous options when generating the code. For example, you can also create a code for the user to automatically like your page when scanned. Some other codes will help the user check in to your location. Another one creates a recommendation for the page, not to mention the possibility to link to offers or to your review page.
Helpful tips and tricks when using a Facebook QR code
Make sure you plan your marketing campaign right and use the code in the right places. For example, it does not make such a good idea to advertise your Facebook QR code over your Facebook page. People are already there, so what is the point? You will find it surprising, but many newbies put it in the cover photo.
Just because it links to a social media profile and not a website, it does not mean that your QR code can be smaller than normal. For instance, if you sell small things, it may not be a good idea to display your code on the packaging. It has to be at least 0.4×0.4 inches for most devices to scan it. Bigger is better though, yet it depends on where you want to place it too.
Although you can link to actions that will be performed automatically (such as liking a page once the code is scanned, this action might feel like spam. Besides, what is the point of advertising to people who are not interested in what you do? While not entirely contraindicated, it seems to be less efficient than leaving all the action to the user.
Use a call to action as well. Regardless of where you place the code, users must know what happens when they scan it. Ask them to like your page, scan to see your special offers or join a competition. If they have no idea what they do, they are less likely to pull their phones out and start scanning.
It is also worth giving something in exchange. Lots of companies already do it, so people are used to scan for a coupon or a discount. No matter what it is, it has to be there for those who made the effort to scan your code.
Finally, stick to one code only. Do not place two or more codes one close to another, even if they link to different things. Get one and use it in your marketing campaign or you will confuse users.
As a short final conclusion, a Facebook QR code can and will work wonders in the long run if used correctly. Make sure you have the right link in place and drop it in high visibility areas. Check it on more devices before advertising for it though.