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QR Codes: Business Cards

We’ve been talking a lot about Quick Response codes, two-dimensional codes that direct users to an online location with more information about a product, company or individual. Well, remember things called business cards, little pieces of paper with your contact information on them that you pass out to new people you meet in real life? Well, adding a QR code is a more up-to-date way to send people to your official website, Facebook or Twitter page.

Need some ideas for how you can use QR codes to boost your online presence, or got some ideas we haven’t thought of that you’d like to share? Let us know!

QR Codes: Boost Your Social Network Presence

We recently introduced you to Quick Response codes, two-dimensional codes similar to bar codes that send users a website or direct information about a product, company or individual. One way to use these codes to boost exposure of your brand, company or product is to send users to your Facebook or Twitter page rather than simply direct them to your website. Users can then “like” or follow your page, which means you’ve got a direct line to a potential new customer. You can even use QR codes to automatically generate a “like” for your Facebook page!

Advertising and Socialism

No, not that kind of socialism. We’re talking about social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Social networks aren’t exactly new anymore, but in the timeline of advertising, they’re fairly new models. These networking sites and other communications platforms have become central to our online and social experiences (Twitter and Facebook are two of the most popular sites on the Internet), and yet they’ve struggled to develop advertising-driven revenue. It’s partly because they’ve failed to prove to marketers that they’re going to get enough bang for their buck. The biggest reason is that most people who use social media are there to interact with their friends, family and colleagues, not a company that’s trying to sell them something. However, consumers of TV and print have long accepted that paid ad placements are part and parcel to their viewing and reading experiences, and in recent years even moviegoers have relucantly accepted commercials in theaters despite lots of initial pushback. So maybe time is the answer. As social networking becomes broader, used for business and other means, perhaps we’ll be more open to it. The key to any advertising endeavor, of course, is to assess what the opportunities and risks are for your company and, of course, find out who’s doing it right. After all, someone has to take the first plunge!

What Is Sideways Advertising?

Sideways advertising is something you’re probably already familiar with and don’t even realize it. One of the oldest and most reliable forms of sideways advertising, which can basically be defined as anything other than traditional marketing for which you pay, are employees, partners and clients, even past customers, who pass on valuable information about your brand. In other words, grass-roots word-of-mouth by people who carry your company’s message. Another tried-and-true form of sideways advertising is philanthropic endeavors and community involvement, which is as simple as sponsoring an event that shares the values of you and your business. Doing something good can benefit the world and your bottom line. A new addition to the world of sideways advertising is online social networking. Websites like Facebook and Twitter, oft-mentioned in these pages, can help build your business’s image and overall branding. And cross-polinating between traditional marketing approaches and social networking is a great way to maximize both. About to launch a new traditional ad campaign? Tweet about it!