QR Codes for Lodging (from the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Conference)

1. QR Codes for Lodging

2. QR (Quick Response) QR codes were invented by Toyota to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. In use since 1994. For more background about the QR code, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code

3. Why Use QR codes? Brand Awareness. Drive Traffic to your website or social media. Deliver incentives for guest stays and guest retention. Think out of the box, don’t just use a QR code to drive traffic to your home page, let it go to sub pages, custom landing pages, your blog, your blog posts, Facebook, Facebook photo albums, Youtube videos, recipes (text based or web based) customer reviews, your Tripadvisor listing. Important note on Tripadvisor listings/ If you give incentives or a QR code and suggest to guests that they leave a review on TA, make SURE they are off property when they leave the review. TA will flag it as coming from your IP address (even if you did not write it).

4. The Geico envelope, for every blog post that says this is the most creative idea since sliced bread is another one saying is this the dumbest QR goof to do date. It is clever, but from the perspective of user, “why” should I scan it, “why should I scan it and then look inside?”, “why don’t I just open the darn thing?”

5. Please refer to Scott Stratton’s video about the usage of QR codes on billboards (in notes below)

6.  Test Test Test, a QR code is useless if the code doesn’t work, also what’s the point of putting a QR code on the home page of your website that leads to the home page of your website?

7. Make sure the link your QR code is leading a guest to, is mobile friendly, if it’s not they see your website in various formats, none of which are easy to read or view.

8. If you have printed materials, take advantage of them and use labels to enhance them, an business card back can fit 2 QR codes on it comfortably. Make sure you give someone an incentive to scan though.

9. Think about pointing the QR codes to other things besides your website. QR codes on print ads, QR codes to social media photo albums (Facebook & GooglePlus), QR codes to Recipes, QR codes for specials, offers & packages, QR codes for discounts or special offers, Give your customers referral cards with a QR code on it which leads to a special friends and family rates page. I bring this all up again, (re: from slide 3, because to date I have not found any B&Bs doing anything but sending traffic to their website (if you have found other examples please let me know in the comments) and one example to a Youtube video. Think out of the box and remember to give an incentive for people to scan.

10. Think about placement

11. Again, think about placement. “Excuse me Mam, do you mind if I scan your QR code?”

12. Think of branding, if you give someone a mug, they might take it to work and either use it or put pens in it, opportunity for new people to scan the code and get introduced to your brand.

13. Link it to a Google or Bing map

14. Link it to a mobile friendly page (please see further information about mobile friendly in the notes)

15. Links to social media and social media photo albums. Facebook has mobile friendly pages, even with the new timeline. https://m.facebook.com/forfengdesigns and you can do mobile photos too https://m.facebook.com/forfengdesigns#!/forfengdesigns?v=photos&__user=1190626308  check out the more tab for all links available.

16. Print ad to Google+ page (scan for a discount)

17. You need to give people a reason or incentive to scan the code.“Visit our website”isn’t enough of a hook

18. Tips

19. Glossy materials tend to reflect a lot of light and can distort a QR code, as can textured papers, Remember to drive the links to a mobile friendly resource, Some people don’t know what QR codes are (even ones with cell phones), use the KISS (keep is simple, silly!) principle, explain it a little if possible, Test your QR codes with multiple readers and devices (very important!!), Make sure to use colors that create an effective contrast between the QR code and the background,  Shorter URLs have less of a chance of coding error while being scanned. Make sure the code is large enough to be scan-able, Test Test Test. Text only QR codes are an option for those place w/out internet access.

20. You can generate QR codes and MS tags with the Tag Manager, and also track a number of consumer actions associated with the use of those 2D codes. http://tag.microsoft.com/   Microsoft came out with MS tags to try to compete with QR codes but found it better to make them compatible instead.

21. A few QR code generators






http://kimtag.com/ (social hub)

http://www.likify.net/  (Generate FB Likes)

http://qrdroid.com (multiple  options)


Just Google QR code generators, there are tons out just make sure you test test test. Keep in mind when doing QR codes, there are the ones where you design and then download the image and use for whatever you want and the ones that are hosted and have hosted links (caveat is what if THEIR hosting goes down or they go offline, your QR code is useless)

22.  Free Mobile Phone Emulators  http://www.mobilemoxie.com/handset-emulators/phone- emulator/

list of specific mobile emulators: http://mobiforge.com/emulators/page/mobile-emulators

see what your QR code looks like in a mobile site

23. Thank you!


QR codes sizes and more information, suggested reading http://www.qrstuff.com/blog/2011/01/18/what-size-should-a-qr-code-be

URL shorteners: slide 19

http://goo.gl/ (best uptime)


http://bitly.com/ (my favorite for tracking links)

Mobile websites pages may require your webmaster to make changes to your website, there is an alternative, both blogger and wordpress.com have mobile enabled sites. Use these to post your own content as an alternative to having it on your website, for more information please visit http://www.blogger.com/tour_pst.g and http://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/mobile-themes/

QR Codes: How to Get Started  http://www.abouttheinn.com/2011/05/qr-codes-how-to-get-started/

The Problem with QR codes Scott Stratten (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2rVYvylvZc

(the funny thing about the above was on the flight back from the innkeepers conference I poked through United Airlines Inflight magazine, a grand total of 13 QR codes in there, I got a few funny looks when I started laughing.

10 Funniest QR Code Fails http://mashable.com/2012/03/04/funniest-qr-code-fail/

15 QR code ideas for Bed and Breakfasts https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/15-qr-code-ideas-for-bed-and-breakfasts/


About Chef Forfeng

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
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