Marketing professor uses social media as a marketing advantage for small businesses


Larry White

A Radford Uuniversity professor has managed to become an expert in using social media in the advertising and public relations field.
Gary Schirr, assistant professor of marketing at Radford University is a heavy twitter user. According to, he has more than 60, 000 Twitter followers. According to, he was ranked No. 24 recently on’s most Web-savvy professors. An AT&T business blog, “14 Experts Predict 2013 Social Media Trends for Small Businesses”, featured Schirr’s insights in its annual social media review.
Schirr has managed to use social media as an effective marketing tool for advertisers to build better customer relations between companies and clients. With social media being free, it saves small businesses a lot money instead of spending money on campaigns and other advertising strategies.
Schirr will hold a seminar for all interested college students and faculty on Thursday, March 7, at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon. The free seminar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 203 of the center is open to the first 20 registrants. The name of the seminar will be “Social Media and Your Business.” The purpose of this event is for the participants to learn effective strategies for communication through social media.
“A lot of people won’t believe you are in business if you are not online,” said Schirr, who developed the first social media marketing classes for the RU College of Business and Economics three years ago and now teaches at the graduate and undergraduate levels. “While there is no fee, it is not free. There is work involved.”
This seminar is intended for Schirr to cater to the needs of the audiences. He wants to encourage small businesses that are interested in adding social media to their company; to register right away so they can quickly learn how the different sites work.
Schirr’s interest for Twitter actually initially developed for personal reasons for blogging use. According to, a self-described “early adopter,” Schirr said his use of Twitter  began as a means to promote his blog at  The site had routine traffic of about 50 visits per post before he became active on Twitter.  Schirr says the blog now has up to 1,000 visits on a given topic. Schirr is currently using these great social media techniques courses titled “Marketing 471: Social Media Marketing and Issues in Marketing.”
Many marketing strategies that were used in the past before were driven by making campaign posters and even trying to pay television stations to advertise their company which is quite costly. But with Twitter being so popular, many people can see your blogs and follow your company instantly for free.