Social media can be an affordable complement or alternative to conventional advertising and public relations for today's small-business owner.
Gary Schirr, assistant professor of marketing at Radford University, will review the opportunities and challenges of the swiftly evolving social media marketplace at a seminar titled "Social Media and Your Business" 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.
An early adopter of social media and student of the how social media are evolving as a marketing tool, Schirr has more than 60,000 Twitter followers. He was ranked No. 24 recently on BestOnlineUniversities.com's "100 most Web-savvy professors." An AT&T business blog, 14 Experts Predict 2013 Social Media Trends for Small Business, featured Schirr's insights in its annual social media review. He is ranked No. 3 on Social Media Magazine's list of professors who "get it." Schirr also has a Klout score of 70. A Klout score, according to the service, measures on a scale from 1 to 100 a user's influence and ability to drive action on social networks.
"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."
"Social Media and Your Business" will be tailored to the audience's needs. Schirr encourages small-business owners who are either active in the social media marketplace or are considering adding social media to their marketing efforts to register right away, saying their input will help him guide the seminar's development.
"We will talk about what small businesses are doing and what they should be doing, plus it will be a hands-on opportunity," he said about the event, which is underwritten by SunTrust and the Radford University Small Business Development Center(SBDC) in partnership with the Virginia Highlands SBDC and the chambers of commerce of Washington and Smyth counties.
To register for "Social Media and Your Business," call the Radford University SBDC at (540) 831-6056.