September 17, 2012

4 QR code tools that will make you love QR codes

Promote a contest, URL, etc. with Kaywa, Scan & more

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers, educators, technologists, Web publishers.

John HaydonRock The Vote recently launched their Scan To Vote campaign to register 1.5 million voters using T-shirts printed with QR codes. When someone scans the QR code on their friend’s T-shirt, they are directed to a website where they can register to vote.

Joe Waters has already written a few times about how organizations are using QR codes to raise more money, covering things like how to create a QR code, how to create a mobile site with Google Sites and how to promote the offer.

Once you get grounded with QR, here are four tools I think you’ll find valuable to help you get started with QR codes:

Kaywa: The easiest way to create a QR code

1Kaywa allows you to create customized QR codes that can link to a URL, text, phone number, or SMS. Their paid service includes analytics.

To create a QR code with Kaywa, simply enter your URL, text, phone number, or SMS; click generate; and then copy the code or save the image (as shown below). Continue reading

August 11, 2011

Why your nonprofit should have a mobile strategy

Mobile is how more of us will be accessing the Internet in the years ahead. Below, Andy Steggles of Higher Logic.

Expand your organization’s reach by embracing the basics of mobile technology

By Tamara Schweitzer
Socialbrite staff

Tamara SchweitzerI attended the Social Media for Nonprofits conference in New York last week, an event series curated by Darian Rodriquez Heyman and Ritu Sharma, to help nonprofits make better use of social media and discover new ways to use social networking platforms to promote their cause. The lineup of speakers was stellar, including Farra Trompeter, VP of communications firm Big Duck, who already put together a great recap of the day that you should definitely check out if you want a quick rundown of the main takeaways. When I was thinking about what I wanted to bring back to Socialbrite readers, one of the standout presentations for me was by Andy Steggles, the chief operating officer of Higher Logic, who spoke about the basics of crafting a mobile strategy.

What really struck me about Steggles’s presentation is how powerful – and relatively simple — it can be to incorporate a mobile strategy into your organization. When you think about a social media strategy, nonprofits tend to focus a lot on the two big players – Twitter and Facebook – and making sure that they have established a presence on both. But, despite the enormous reach that these platforms have, many people (including your supporters) are still not regular users, and some may not have engaged with you through those channels to the extent that you want yet. But contrast that with the stats for mobile usage that Steggles shared on stage, and you will see how much reach you can have simply by embracing some aspect of mobile technology.

According to research by Morgan Stanley that Steggles presented (see image below), there are about 670 million people around the world who have a smartphone, and that number is growing at an annual rate of 37 percent. That means people are no longer just discovering you through the Web on their home or work computer. All those smartphone users are constantly connected and the more you give them opportunities to connect with you on the go, the more growth, engagement and success you’ll have.

Slide depicting 3G mobile usage globally from Andy Steggles’ SM4NP presentation.

Here are some easy ways you can get started with mobile.

It’s not just about the apps

You don’t have to develop an app to be a player in the mobile market.

You don’t have to develop an app to be a player in the mobile market. In fact, SMS text messaging and QR codes are two ways that you can work with mobile technology without breaking the bank.

A QR code, or quick response code, is like a barcode that can easily be scanned by smartphones to relay all kinds of information. You’ve probably seen them all over the place now, from the side of the bus stop station to the back of a menu at a restaurant. They’re used to lead you to a new piece of information about that company or service, whether that’s taking you to the website to see the bus schedule, or the restaurant is giving a 10 percent off coupon for the next time you eat there. With QR codes, there are endless ways to make use of them and all you need is a URL to create one. Continue reading

October 18, 2010

QR codes may give big boost to cause marketing

Guest post by Joe Waters
Director, Cause Marketing, Boston Medical

Imagine this: You visit your local supermarket and are asked to support a local food pantry. You a buy a pinup for a buck. On your receipt is message that you can learn more about the cause you just supported by scanning this barcode with your smartphone.

In your car before you leave the supermarket parking lot you run your iPhone over the barcode and a one minute video airs on a food pantry like no other. It’s run out of your local hospital. The pantry started by feeding a few thousand patients every year. In 2009 it fed 75,000 men, women and children. The video closes with an image of a food line that snakes down the hallway and around the corner. It is, after all, the busiest day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving.


The cool thing is that you don’t have imagine this happening. It already is. In a recent tweet, Chris Mann pointed me to this article on how two groups in the United Kingdom are using barcodes, RFID tags or QR codes, as they seem to be most commonly called, to add personal history to donated items. (Note: What a great idea for Goodwill!)

Mashable thinks QR codes may be headed for a breakout. Last week it highlighted Stickybits, an app I’ve been playing around with for a couple of months.

Stickybits brings context to real-world objects with its next generation approach to the QR code. The mobile app is primarily a barcode scanner — powered by Red Laser — but it takes the technology into the realm of fun by creating a social and shared experience around any item in the physical world that possesses a barcode.

Download the iPhone or Android application, scan your favorite cereal box, add an item — maybe a related recipe, but any video, photo, audio clip or comment will do — and you’ve just started a digital thread around that item.

Think of the potential for cause marketers to make transactional programs less, well, transactional and more meaningful. When you pick up a mug at Starbucks that supports Product (RED) you can scan the QR code to hear the story of a man who benefited directly from the life-saving HIV drugs RED provides and Starbucks funds.

But that’s not all. Supporters can scan the barcode and use their smartphone to record why they support Product (RED), which then can be viewed by the next person who holds the mug up to a smartphone. Continue reading