Hashtags and QR Codes

Josh and I recently had a conversation about his love of QR codes. He has been an advocate for years to include QR codes on the external wrap of trailers. One of the first things we teach new road staff of the mobile experiential firm we work for, is that the job doesn’t stop when the show ends. That trailer is a rolling billboard and you are always representing your client, even at an interstate rest area. This has fueled his passion for the QR code. A quick snap and we can direct the interested party to any platform desired, a micro-site, a blog, or likely a Facebook Page for the particular campaign.

LOC - Washington, DC - 09.25 (14)_edited-1

A Facebook page for marketing tours has a great deal of value without putting huge resources into it. This one social media resource can house schedules, tour descriptions, and be a source to push forward other information. We have been a part of numerous businesses to consumer projects that gave away a coupon; a tour’s FB page can also link to that same promotion. Interested consumers are engaged to ask questions and leave comments. By gaining that precious “like” the brand has the opportunity to share elements from other social media outlets on the powerful platform. I can’t tell you how many YouTube videos, Vines, and Instagram photos we have shared on a project’s page. As part of the management team for tours it is my job to seek out these gems. My favorite tool for doing this is hashtag searches. This little device originated as a part of programing and has now become a part of most social media platforms. Brands can use these to draw users together, while users can implement one to make a message reach farther. The hashtag is flexible and accepted on multi-platforms. Unlike a Facebook page that will only reaches users who are subscribed, a hashtag can find consumers outside your network.


While Josh likes a QR code I am a custom hashtag advocate, these multi platform functions gives you so many options. A QR code would be the flexible half of this duo. Our client’s have the option to choose where they want to direct traffic. Whether it is a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or my favorite a Tumblr micro-blog; QR codes put users where a client wants them. While traditional blogs and other micro-blogs have their benefits, Tumblr is designed to blend original content, multi-platform posts, multi-media post, and the all too useful re-blog. When I worked with Smithsonian Institute on a program called Animal Connections we would feed in posts that included the guest veterinarians, a little about them and their clinic. There were also many opportunities to grab the content created by guests to the traveling exhibit via a hashtag search. Like the QR codes posted throughout the exhibit there was also an official hashtag. We could grab images off of Instagram, tweets, and Facebook shares for the Tumblr feed. There was also the option to then let these items auto-roll to the Facebook page. The actual Smithsonian micro-site for the program featured a feeder of the Tumblr page. This platform allowed us to add real-time content like you would with Twitter but unlike Twitter the re-blog life is much longer. When we are in the program development phase of a tour these are always elements we work out. Hashtags and QR codes while very different search functions both can build and direct consumers. The QR code puts them on the right path while the hashtag opens a whole new one.


**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my coarse work for SNHU.


Bennett, S. (2014, September 2). The history of hashtag in social media marketing. AdWeek. Retrieved from: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/history-hashtag-social-marketing/501237

Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Kirkpatrick, R. (2013, December 5). How Kia accessed a world stage with a hashtag. Event Marketer. Retrieved from: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/kia-serves-soul-live-feed/

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

Schaefer, M. (2011). The tao of Twitter. Lexington. McGraw Hill.


Walter, E. (2012, January 13). 10 creative ways to use qr codes for marketing. Mashable. Retrieve from: http://mashable.com/2012/01/13/qr-code-marketing/#2hN9XHn09iqj

2 thoughts on “Hashtags and QR Codes

Add yours

  1. Hi Abigail,

    Great post! I like both hashtags and QR codes, therefore I am right in the middle. Hashtags are great when you want a quick way to look something up while QR codes all you to go directly to a specific website. There are times that I setup QR codes that can be placed on someones business card. When scanned, the v card is automatically downloaded into their phone address book.

    Amanda Schneck

    1. We have debated adding a QR to our cards for a years. I want a cleaner look with the little social media “buttons” but Josh thinks a QR to a page with redirect links might be better.

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