What’s a QR Code? Three Things to Consider Before Adding a QR Code to your Social Media Strategy

I read an article today titled “Why Are Some QR Codes More Scanworthy Than Others?” by Mashable. Among the information presented in the infographic were reasons why respondents were not familiar with QR codes.

The reasons included: I don’t know what they are, I don’t have a smart phone and I’ve never seen a QR code.

When asked what would make them more likely to scan QR codes, the answers were: having a smart phone, knowing the reward or the result and knowing how to scan QR codes.

This article presents some important information about QR codes that hospitals should understand before adding them to your social media strategy, especially because these codes are relatively new.

Before you get started, consider these three things when developing your QR code strategy:

Choose your audience wisely

Not having a smart phone was one of the main reasons why respondents didn’t know what a QR code was. While smart phones are wildly popular among many age groups, it’s important to know the demographics of your audience, including the way they communicate.

So while it might make sense for your hospital’s birthing center to integrate the use of QR codes, it might not make sense to do so for a service with primarily older patients (who are less likely to have a smart phone), such as your joint replacement center.

Educate your audience

What good is a QR code if your audience doesn’t know how to use it? Educating your audience could be as easy as adding information about how to use a QR code right along with the actual code.

Stating something as simple as “What is this, anyway? Visit our website to find out!” would allow your audience to become familiar with QR codes, and allow you to explain what software they need to download in order to read it.

Define its purpose

As with any social media account, don’t just use a QR code for the sake of using it. When you introduce a QR code, make sure you state the purpose of the code and why it would benefit your patients.

Be sure it is something they will value. It could be anything from linking to a podcast with specific information, or as simple as making it easier for patients to find your website. Whatever it is, make sure it’s immediately clear to your audience.

Of course these tips are best used when you understand what a QR code is, how to use it and how to create one. To learn more about QR codes, you can read several of our previous blog posts here.


How we help

Hive Strategies helps hospitals engage patients through social media. We don’t manage social media. Instead, we help hospitals develop an effective social media strategy and mentor them through the implementation process. Read about our services. Start a conversation. Email us or call us at 503-472-5512.

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