QR Codes The good, the bad, and the ugly experience!

First off a brief summary

We decided to go “all in” with the QR code technology, so the first step was to put it in our handouts and the material that I regularly use. When I set up the link I basically used http://www.bitly.com services to shorten the URL and to help me track whomever clicked on the links. I built a separate link as recommended by Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu. That way I could easily track which of the places I visited was generating more (or less) traffic to the Fan Page on Facebook.

The Good
 As I got into the first place to inform students about their possibilities to study in the U.S, I started to eye if anyone had smart phones to see if it was viable to even show the slide explaining what QR Codes where. I soon found out that many (not all) had phones that at least could read the codes. So then there I was all jacked up about this new thing and when I detected that there was interest I had a brief how-to session on scanning, what tools to use and what they would obtain after going to the link. And the good news is that students were actively searching for apps to scan the code and also would scan it right away!

The bad
What I did was to personally try out different apps with my cellphone and ask others to use other apps with different brands/models, that did help out a lot since it could possibly happen that someone would not be able to scan the code and then all my work would have been in vain! Plus I had in one slide this very useful list of bar code readers and scanners: http://bitly.com/qrcode-edusa. So what turned out bad? People would need time to download the app, install it and then scan the code, with some that had 3G connection it went somewhat fast, others needed to have Wi-fi since they had no data packet connection, and still others that did not have a smartphone that could scan the code. Well nothing unexpected and not truly earth shattering but still points to keep a record of.

The ugly

I set up the QR Code link to redirect to our Facebook Fan Page as I have mentioned before, I had content on the topics that we were going to discuss in the presentation, I even had a small contest each time so see who would answer, correctly, three questions from a discussion in the page. I checked (and waited for over a week), to see the statistics on the people scanning and being redirected to our page. We had plenty of traffic (not in the thousands, I contacted almost 300 people face to face in those 2 days). And the result is that we are still getting some sort of people interested but still very few really having a discussion in there. I did not expect to see 300+ likes in that week but at least say 50-60 more AND some people asking questions and posting a little in the wall or sending messages in some way.
Questions
To tell you the truth I was a bit discouraged, but I know it is a process, the seed has been planted and they will come when they see the need. My questions for you are:
  1. What can I do to get them more engaged in the FB page? (at the information session it went very well, but the post action has been sort of quiet on their part)
  2. What strategies have you used that have worked?
  3. What should I do on future sessions that I didn’t consider?

P.S (loved using Evernote to edit this post)

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