How to Create a QR code: The Ultimate Guide

In this day and age, QR codes are becoming more and more popular. You may have seen them in advertisements, products, or even in emails. But what are QR codes? How do you make one? And how can you use them in social media?

In this guide, we will answer all of those questions and more. Try our free QR code generator.

How to Create a QR code:

What Is a QR Code?

A Quick Response Code, also known as a QR code, is a machine-readable type of barcode that can be read by an optical scanner, such as those found on phones or tablets. They're made of hundreds of black and white squares that are typically used for keeping hard links or physical URLs. Simply put, they are like a paper version of hyperlinks.

This two-dimensional QR code was invented in 1994 by Masahiro Hara, who led its development at Denso Wave. Originally intended for manufacturing operations, it became license-free so that anyone could use this technology, and nowadays, there are many countries all over the world that rely on his invention. 

How Do QR Codes Work?

QR codes work by using a camera to recognize the code and then linking it to an online product or service. Once recognized, the user's phone decodes the information it contains and takes them to a web page or app the code links to.

There are many different types of QR codes, but the most common is a square code with black and white blocks. You can see an example of a QR code in the image below:

For a more detailed explanation of how QR codes work, check out this article.

Steps on How to Generate a QR Code for Your Business or Website

Now that you know what a QR code is, how can you create one for your business? We will show you how in seven easy steps:

Step One: Choose the content you want to include in your QR code. This could be anything from a web page to an image or to a product description. 

Step Two: Choose what you want your QR code to look like. There are many design options in terms of color, size, and shape, so pick one that fits best with your brand. You can also add a logo or picture to the barcodes if you'd like.

Step Three: Create an account on the website where users will be able to scan your code. This will let you track how many people use it and how often they do so.

Step Four: Create your QR code for your website using a generator tool. You'll need to enter some information about yourself before generating one so that others can easily identify who created it.

Step Five: Pick how many times people can scan your code per day. This will help keep track of how popular your business is getting.

Step Six: Make sure that the code does not expire after a certain date, so it's always usable for customers anytime they need some information about what's going on.

Step Seven: Paste the code on your site or social media accounts and start promoting it.

Are There Free QR Code Generators Online?

There are many free QR code generators on the internet. However, some apps may be paid and they vary in quality and ease of use.

The free QR code generators can be used to create an unlimited number of codes for your business or personal use. However, most will have some limitations, such as the number of scans per day and how long it takes before the code expires after being scanned once. 

You can also pay a small fee if you want more options for a more customized design and settings for your QR codes. This could be anything from changing the cool colors and shapes to adding your company logo or product name.

We've compiled a list of the top QR code creators for you. 

Where Can You Use QR Codes?

Nowadays, QR codes are widely used in different industries and have a lot of different applications and purposes. And if you're in social media marketing, you should definitely be using them.

Some of the most popular uses of QR codes include: 

Barcodes for business cards 

Gone are the days when you have to print your contact details on a business card. Now, you can simply include a QR code that will direct potential customers to your website or social media page. It's a great way to make sure that people can easily find out more about your business and what you have to offer. 

Not only that—you can also use QR codes to store other data, such as your resume or a portfolio. This allows potential employers to easily access your information without having to search for it on the internet.

Promotional materials for products

Using QR codes for promotional materials can provide consumers with a lot of valuable product information. This might include how-to videos, recipes, or directions for how to use the product correctly. 

This is a great way of engaging with your customers and providing them with value-added content that they may find useful without having to search for it online. Not only that, but it’s also a great way to differentiate your products from other companies that don't have such features.

Scanning event tickets 

QR codes can be used for event tickets and passes, such as concerts or conferences. Not only does it make the ticketing process more efficient, but it also makes the registration process simpler for attendees. This is especially useful if you’re hosting an event with hundreds of people as it will save you time and money. 

A lot of information can be stored in a QR code, so you can use QR codes to include all kinds of different details about your event. It could be from directions to the venue and a map of the area to even a list of the performers who are going to be there. 

Contest and giveaway campaigns

Engaging your customers through contests and giveaways is a great way to boost loyalty and create excitement. And what's a better way to do that than by using QR codes?

You can include contest details, such as how to enter, the prize, and how long the contest will run. This makes it easier for people to participate as they don't have to go through the hassle of finding the information on your website. 

Social media content marketing

You can direct your social media followers to your website or blog by using QR codes in your posts. This is a great way of getting more traffic and increasing the number of people who are exposed to your content. 

You can also use QR codes to promote special offers or discounts that are available only to social media followers. This will encourage people to follow you on social media, which can help grow your business.

Tool for app downloads

You can direct potential customers to download your app by using QR codes in social media posts or on printed materials, such as flyers and posters. This will make it easier for people who are interested in downloading it but haven't had the time to look up how they can do so yet.

In addition, you can also use QR codes to track how many people have downloaded your app. This is a great way of measuring the success of your marketing campaigns and determining which strategies are working best for you.

What Are the Advantages of Using QR Codes?

A lot of businesses are catching on to QR codes as a way to connect with customers because they are easy to create and use. In fact, they are becoming so popular that some people are even using them as a way to pay for items. There are many advantages of using QR codes in social media, including the following:

  • They're easy to create and use: As stated before, QR codes are very easy to create and use. With the right tools, you can have one up and running in no time.
  • They provide instant information: Instead of having to manually type out an URL, it's as simple as scanning a code with your phone—perfect for the customer on the go.
  • They can store a lot of information: QR codes can hold up to about 4,000 characters of text, which is more than enough for most people's needs.
  • They're handy for the customer: QR codes provide a quick and easy way to access information. Customers don't have to carry thick manuals around with them or search through their phones for an app they may have downloaded long ago. QR codes provide all the information a customer needs right at their fingertips.
  • They're versatile: QR codes can be used for a variety of purposes, such as directing people to your website, promoting offers and sales, providing coupons or discounts, and even tracking how many people have used them.
  • They're easy to scan: A lot of businesses are catching on to designing QR codes as a way to connect with customers because it only needs to be scanned using a smartphone or tablet camera. In fact, they are becoming so popular that some people are even using them as a way to pay for items at cashier stands.
  • They're cheap to create: You can create QR codes for free using online tools, which is how most businesses will be using them in the future. They are also easy to share and embed into existing websites or social media accounts, so you don’t have to worry about how much it costs to create one.
  • They can be used for data collection: QR codes can be used to track the number of people who visit your website. They can also collect data from people who scan them. This information can then be used for marketing purposes or to improve your customer service.

Are There Disadvantages to Using QR Codes?

Although there are many advantages to using QR codes, they also have their fair share of drawbacks. Some of the main disadvantages include the following:

  • They can be difficult to scan: If your QR code is not designed properly, it can be difficult for customers to scan it. This kind of defeats the purpose of having one in the first place.
  • They can be easily damaged or corrupted: QR codes are made up of black and white squares, so they can be easily damaged if they’re not printed correctly. They can also be corrupted if the code is too long or has a lot of graphics.
  • They require special tools: QR codes can only be scanned with a smartphone or tablet that has the technology to scan the barcode. This could lead some people away from your business because they don’t have the right kind of device or don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading an app just for your store.
  • They can be confusing: QR codes are still relatively new, so many people might not know how they work or how they’re supposed to use them. If you have one on your site but don’t explain how it works, customers could become frustrated and leave before they even get a chance to use it.
  • They don’t look professional: QR codes just recently gained traction, so many businesses are still trying to figure out how to design their codes. This can lead them to look unprofessional. 
  • They can be used for spam: If someone scans a QR code without knowing what it is, they could end up getting spammed with unwanted messages or ads.

Any Best Practices for Using QR Codes in Social Media?

Although QR codes have their disadvantages, there's no reason why you can't use them on social media. Here are some best practices to follow as you use QR codes on your social media accounts:

Keep the scan code simple

Try to make your code as simple as possible so that customers don't get confused by how they're supposed to scan it. Too much text or graphics can overwhelm users and prevent them from using the code.

Use a high-quality image

Using a high-quality image for your QR code is recommended so that it's easy to read when scanned by a smartphone or tablet camera. Avoid using textured backgrounds as these can make scanning more difficult and lead customers away from using it altogether.

Use a clear and concise message

Keep the text on your QR code simple and easy to understand. Avoid using too much jargon or abbreviations as not everyone will know what they mean.

Test the features out first

Before you start using your QR code, make sure you test it out on different devices. This will help you catch any errors that might occur when someone tries to scan it.

Label the type of QR code properly

If you're putting your QR codes on products, make sure you label them clearly. This will let customers know what they are and how they can use them.

Update the QR code data regularly

As technology changes, so should your QR codes. Make sure you update them regularly with the correct links and expiry dates so that customers always have the most up-to-date information.

How Do You Track Your QR Code Brand Campaign Results?

You can use QR codes to track campaign results by using a tool like Google Analytics. This will allow you to see which campaigns are the most successful and what content is being used to generate more clicks.

The free web analytics service provided by Google gives incredible insight into visitor traffic. It can also provide valuable statistics like demographic information, how long someone spends on your site, and where they came from.

By using QR codes in combination with Google Analytics, you can track how many people are scanning your code, what content they're interested in, and how likely they are to convert into a customer. This information can help you make better decisions about future campaigns and content strategies.

Final Thoughts on Creating QR Codes

QR codes are a great way to connect with customers and promote your brand fast. In spite of their disadvantages, they are quickly becoming a powerful marketing tool. With the right tools and a bit of creativity, you can unlock the full potential of QR codes to make your business more successful.

About the Author
Geri Mileva, an experienced IP network engineer and distinguished writer at Influencer Marketing Hub, specializes in the realms of the Creator Economy, AI, blockchain, and the Metaverse. Her articles, featured in The Huffington Post, Ravishly, and various other respected newspapers and magazines, offer in-depth analysis and insights into these cutting-edge technology domains. Geri's technological background enriches her writing, providing a unique perspective that bridges complex technical concepts with accessible, engaging content for diverse audiences.