When I learned what our assignment was for this week’s class I immediately ran all over my house looking for QR barcodes to scan. Thinking I would find a 50 quite easily I looked at every product, magazine or flyer I could find. I found roughly 7. I was quite surprised because I remember a few years back almost everything had a QR barcode. I found an interesting article that discusses how QR codes are dying out largely due to over saturation and the lack of knowledge surrounding what they actually are. Honestly this was the first time I ever scanned a QR code. I knew what they were but from my friends who had Blackberry’s (back when people actually had BlackBerrys) and they used them to add each other to BBM and would scan the QR codes but it would just take them to the advertisements website which was already on the ad itself. In the QR codes I scanned 5 took me to the website which didn’t offer any new information from what was already in the ad. 2 had YouTube videos that offered more information in the ad and were actually quite entertaining. I watched these videos and looked around the site a bit. Progress but didn’t really offer up anything to keep me on the site.
The thing I learned the most from this week’s assignment is that in a lesser known social web application you need to offer the consumer something different. Linking me over to your website isn’t going to do it. I saw it was a website and just closed it. What I liked best about foursquare was the discounts it offered from local businesses both big and small. I also discovered some interesting local spots that I didn’t know about. Foursquare offers some incentive for checking in which is one reason why in 2011 there was 1 billion check ins. Going forward I won’t be using the QR reader but plan to continue to use Foursquare I think it will fit in nicely with my other social web use.
3 examples of possible use of the platform for public relations
- Cross publicity between social web platforms- Foursquare may be a lesser known form of social media but has the ability to link to Facebook and Twitter. When a user checks-in and connects that to their other social web site it promotes foursquare but also the establishment itself. Reaching that users friends, followers, etc. a vastly larger audience then it may have reached previously. A business can have a Facebook page or Twitter page but if they don’t have followers then its messaging isn’t getting out there. This will allow for a bigger reach for publicity of their business. For PR as a whole you reach more people through with your message and connect it through multiple platforms.
- 2. Real time communications both good and bad- When someone checks-in to a Foursquare location it gives them the ability to leave comments, like or dislike the page, take photos and more. If a business owner is properly managing their Foursquare page they can acknowledge comments both good and bad. They can respond to the mayor or their page and recognize their loyal patronage. By responding to a consumers it deepens the relationship they have with the business
- 3. Connecting communities– Foursquare allows for people to connect with local business’ and for those business’ to connect with their customers. In a small county where I live “a more desirable approach is to target your promotions to as many users as possible. This not only encourages the use of location-based apps like foursquare, but also allows you to entice a wider customer base. In many instances you’ll be able to drive immediate traffic away from your nearby competitors with these kinds of promotions (sprout insights, 2010). Being on Foursquare can allow for promotion of this small business and offer incentives the larger ones may not since they may not leverage the power of Foursquare.
Overall, I believe that QR codes need a facelift. Right now they are boring and often don’t even work. Consider a contest or draw of some sort for people who scan the QR code. Make it worth the effort for people. Foursquare I think is a great idea, I have discovered lots of local places that offer great incentives for going along with support local small business. I actually had my first check in tonight. I will definitely continue to use it.