Encourage sociability by making it worth their while to share
Verizon ran a campaign where in-store customers could scan a QR code that shared their competition entry on Facebook. If a friend used that link to buy a Verizon mobile product, the original customer would win a smartphone. Not could, not maybe, but would win. Verizon saw a $35,000 return on a $1,000 investment, plus brand awareness on 25,000 new Facebook profiles.
Lesson nine: If you want someone to share something on their social profiles, do not give them the chance to win something if someone from their social network acts, let them get something. It is a commission, and they are a salesperson. Treat them that way.
This is often difficult within companies as different groups control different budgets. The key is to get senior-level approval to reinvest marketing dollars that directly generate revenue into offers to continue them. In this way, you can grow campaigns that use incentives, instead of having them fail continuously because one group benefits. There is a need to elevate marketing out of the current role as "expense" and into the role of investment with return. Start educating groups internally that you are in competition with your competitors, not each other.
Check-in and don't be shy
Check-in behavior on apps like FourSquare and Facebook provide an opportunity to connect to an "action" moment. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest distributed more than 50,000 condoms in QR code-emblazoned wrappers. The wrappers enabled people to scan the QR code with their smartphone to check in at wheredidyouwearit.com and anonymously let the world know where they practiced safe sex.
Lesson 10: By associating your brand with a check-in behavior, you aid brand recall and use. It does not have to be sexy like this example. A diaper that you can scan and check-in to show baby changes would work. People want to share "hi-low" events; either their triumphs or when seeking sympathy.
It is almost never a bad idea to take a risk. We are often stuck with generational mores that have us stuck in a "too controversial" mindset. Generation Y and lower have no compunctions about sharing significant intimate details. There is not the same delineation between personal and professional. If you want to reach these generations, it is ok to be a bit more risky.
However, as I stated with the diaper example, the uses for check-ins with products is something that QR codes can do very well.