QR codes have been around since 1994. It was the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave company that invented the two dimensional barcode in order to track vehicles during the manufacturing process.

Here’s an image of one (in case you haven’t seen one before):

Note: To scan the image above, download the free QR reader application on your iPhone or Android device.

A QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is a matrix barcode, also known as a two-dimensional code.

If you haven’t noticed, the QR coding system has recently become popular in other, non-automotive industries because its fast readability (from smartphone scanning applications) and large storage capacity.

The code, as you can see above, is made up of small black modules (square dots). These modules are arranged in a square pattern on a white background, however, any high contrast module-background pairing should be able to scan.

Information encoded in the code can be constructed from four “modes”, or types, of data. These data types include numeric, alphanumeric, binary, Kanji. Other extensions applied to QR codes are also used to represent any other kind of data.

For these reasons, QR codes have been adopted as a marketing tool since their invention in 1994. QR codes may not be one of the most recent social media marketing tools available to companies today, but that should not limit their potential.

Many of you may consider QR codes as a past fad rather than a marketing marvel (like me), but there is no denying that QR codes are almost everywhere. So, with the rise of new technologies in the future, the popularity of QR codes will inevitably continue to grow and this interactive tool will keep online to offline marketing on the rise.

QR codes can lead to any website so why not use one to lead to one of yours? I’ve developed a list of creative ways you can display your own QR code so whether you decide to code your Facebook, LinkedIn profile, WordPress blog or Twitter, you’ll be promoting your site effectively.

I recommend creating an About.me profile because this site contains links to all of your social media outlets as well as a biography that you write and a picture that you choose.

 Part I. Creating the Code

a. Visit the site, Kaywa, to generate a code for the site of your choice

b. Save the image, then stick it in your resume and voilà! Code created and now you’re officially a bo$$.

Part II. Creative ways to use your QR code successfully

a. Order business cards with your code on the backside. Try out this site to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

This is an example of my QR card collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. Order a stencil online here and spray paint t-shirts for your friends to wear around campus.

Here is a shirt that I made and a picture of the stencil:

 

 

 

 

 

c. Print your code on printable sticker paper, or order them online here.

Or you can order a stamp and ink pad instead (eco-friendly option).

 

 

 

 

 

This is my stamp and the purple ink pad I used:

 

 

 

 

 

d. Bake cupcakes and place your code on the cupcake toppers. You can order custom cake toppers here.

If you don’t mind splurging, why not try QR code chocolates? Click here to check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

f. Stylish bracelets are available online, click here to see them listed on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

g. Expand your social media outlets. Try creating accounts on sites like tumblr, typepad, instagram, flickr, foursquare, et cetera. This is a great way to network and find out about cool opportunities and contests.

These are just a few suggestions, but QR codes can be placed on anything so please share creative suggestions you have in the comments below.

I thought these ideas were awesome:

 

 

 

 

 

You can also work on the design of your code to make it even more unique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can choose to use them creatively or stick to the generated code online, but whatever you do make sure to take this free opportunity to provide a lasting impression on your friends, family and job seekers.