Have you ever seen one of these wonderful squares below? I would see them on posters, product packaging and on websites all over. Being a bit geeky, I wondered what they were all about so did some research. It’s a tag that allows you to interact with the world, transmit information to others through their phones. Similar to a barcode at the supermarket, this tag is also scanned. However, this one uses technology on your smart phone to allow you to see the information hidden in the colorful object. Microsoft have created this unique marketing tool, and they are free and easy to use and create.
As you can see on the image, to read the tags you need a mobile app on your phone. Visit http://gettag.mobi from your phone. You will be taken to a page with a list of different phone options. All of the standard ones are there, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and even the newer Windows 7 Phone. Each phone has a slightly different method of getting an app so follow the directions for your specific phone. Off you go! Do that, then come back here.
Once you have the app, go ahead and open it, then scan the image above. It works like taking a photo with your phone’s camera. Just line up the lines of the square on your phone with the square in the image. Some phones seem to recognize the image faster than others. When I had a BlackBerry it would sometimes be difficult to get it to read, now with my Android it is super zippy fast! Try scanning the tag. What should happen is that a new contact will be added to your phone. Kind of like me giving you my business card, but without the effort of you having to key everything into your phone. Pretty cool right!
Not satisfied with just wanting to know what they are, I figured I would try and create some (hence the tag that you just scanned above). If you want to create one, you can visit http://tag.microsoft.com/create-your-own-tag.aspx to get started. You need a Windows Live Id, which a lot of people already have if you ever use MSN Messenger, have a Hotmail account or an account for any other Microsoft services. Either create a free account or log in with your existing account.
To get started with a tag, decide what kind you are going to make. There are several different kinds of tags you can create. You can do a URL Tag to link to a website address, an App Download Tag to open up a website where an app is stored, a Free Text Tag which allows you to display a message on the viewers phone, a Digital Contact Tag (like the one above) and a Dialer Tag which initiates a call to a specified phone number. In the screen shot below you can see the fields required to create a Free Text Tag.
Having a start and end date on the tag allows you to decide when the information will be available, great for product or contest launches. The tag notes and thumbnail are really just for your benefit when going back through and viewing your tags on the website. This helps you go back through and review the information. Here is the finished Free Text Tag:
You can also create tags using your own custom images with dots instead of a full image of triangles as above. The image below was created using a photograph, Microsoft Power Point and a custom tag. You can do the same with your company logo to make something unique to your own business.
Pretty slick right? All of the tags shown can be scanned and all have slightly different end results. You can also log back into your account online and see how many people have scanned your tags with some nifty reports. So where might you use them as a staffing company? Here are just a few ideas:
- Job Fairs – all you need is one banner or poster on your booth with a tag on it. Send visitors to your website to apply or to your Facebook page to connect
- If you are using the latest Call-Em-All Integration for StaffSuite, create a poster with more information about how job seekers can get signed up for text message updates. Place a tag on the poster to encourage people to get more information from your Free Text Tag
- When getting business cards printed, also have a Digital Contact Tag printed on the back for each person. Anyone with a tag reader can simply scan in your contact information, saving time for them and on printing costs for you!
- Launch of a new website – did you just have your website revamped? Let people know about it with a big banner in your office. Place a unique custom tag in full view to entice people to scan it and check out your site!
Are you already using tags? Have you used one in the past? If so, let me know below! I would love to hear about it.