QR Codes: What Are They and How Do You Use One? 

QR codes are everywhere! Take Snapchat for example. You can scan someone’s QR code to add them as a friend instead of typing their username. These small, changes to social media platforms allow us to connect with people and content instantly. The convenience of QR Code is one of the reasons they have been integrated into our daily lives.  

China created the first QR Code in 1994. It was designed to be a high-speed scanning system. QR Codes have risen in popularity because they limit in-person contact with. Businesses across the US have embraced the use of QR Codes for customers in multiple settings and industries. During the pandemic for example, QR Codes are an everyday part of life for many Americans. Scanova reports that “86.66% of smartphone users had scanned a QR Code at least once in their lifetime”. Half of user’s state QR Codes make life easier in a socially distanced community.  


What Are QR codes? 



QR Code is short for quick response code also known as mobile tagging. To put it simply, a QR Code is a scannable image that can be read by a smartphone camera. They are made up of what appear to be random squares and dots, meaningless to the naked eye. To a QR Code reader, the design has limitless possibilities.  

But what is the point? The point of QR Codes is to make information more easily accessible. You can type in a URL or Google anything but scanning a code to take you directly where you want to go saves time. QR codes allow potential customers to reach your desired destination faster and with a lower chance of seeing a competitor’s ads on a search engine.  


How Do You Scan A QR Code? 


Smart phones and have a QR code scanner built into the back camera.  To open a QR Code with your iPhone or Android device: 

  1. Open the back camera. 
  1. Point it at the QR Code you are trying to scan. 
  1.  Hold the camera over the code until the “Open in Browser” notification pops up. 
  1. Click on “Open in Browser”.  
  1. Arrive at the desired link.  

If your device does not have a QR code reader built in, go to the App or Play store and download one for free.  

  1. QR Reader for iPhone – Apple App Store  
  1. QR Code Scanner & Barcode – available on Google Play 
  1. Kaspersky’s QR Code Reader and Scanner 
  1. NeoReader QR & Barcode Scanner 


How Do You Use a QR Code in Business? 


A QR code provides a call-to-action for your viewers. Before creating one, decide on the action you want viewers to make:  

  1. See your website 
  2. Listen to audio 
  3. Make payments 
  4. Social Media 
  5. Follow you 
  6. Subscribe to you 
  7. Like your page 
  8. Find your LinkedIn profile 
  9. View your location 
  10. Contact details 
  11. Email  
  12. Phone number 
  13. Invitations 
  14. Receive a coupon  
  15. Add an event to their calendar 
  16. Access WIFI 
  17. Photos 
  18. Watch a video 
  19. Download files 
  20. App Stores 
  21. Menus 
  22. Ingredients  
  23. Education purposes 
  24. View photos 


Where Can You Use QR Codes? 


Truly you can use a QR code anywhere your target audience will see it. It depends on how, when, and where you want to engage the customer.  

  1. Your website 
  2. Stickers 
  3. Fliers 
  4. Business cards 
  5. Product packaging 
  6. Commercials 
  7. Digital Ads 
  8. Emails  


How Do You Make a QR Code? 


You can easily find a free QR code creator online. Experiment creating codes with links, videos, images, email addresses, and more. If you want to make for an uncommon reason you will need to make you own or commission someone to create it. Many tech companies make their own QR Code inhouse.  

QR Code Generator  

This site allows you to enter a variety of mediums into a QR code, add a logo, frame, color, and shape of the code graphic. Once the QR code has been created, you can track the number of scans it receives.  

QR Code Monkey 

Try this free generator once you are familiar with the code generation process, QR Code Monkey offers more options for sizing, shapes, and colors.  


We live and work in a “social” world, where people look for the easiest way to connect with others and content, QR codes are one of the easiest options available. No matter the reason why you are creating a QR code, there are hundreds of free options online. With millions of ways to integrate them into your audience’s daily life i.e., stickers, information cards, and fliers. They are making it possible to link customers to any platform, image, video, etc. easier than ever. QR codes offer unlimited possibilities to connect others to your content by simply pointing their camera at it and selecting the link. 


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About Our Blogger

As the Social Media Coordinator, Ashley creates engaging content for Media Venue clients. By staying up to date with all the social media trends and changes, she is able to provide important insight. Along with managing social media, she also provides support to the Traditional Media team. Ashley is always eager to learn all aspects of Marketing to ensure the success of our clients.



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