RU professor named on Twitter top 50 list

Gary Schirr

Gary Schirr

RU professor named on Twitter top 50 list, shares tips for social media success

His number of followers does not match those of pop icons Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, but on Twitter, Gary Schirr is kind of a big deal.

The Radford University Associate Marketing Professor in the College of Business and Economics is a noted Twitter and social media savant. He gets it, according to Social Media Magazine, which rates Schirr No. 4 on its list of 100 top marketing professors in the world on Twitter.

More recently, Schirr has tweeted his way on to another list. In late October, Blue Focus Marketing listed @ProfessorGary among its #Nifty50 Top Twitter Men Writers. The list honors the top bloggers, authors, public relations specialists and journalists on Twitter.

"These thought leaders understand that the greatest product of a good idea is more good ideas, and it’s great to see that their generosity and thought leadership in online communities is being recognized," said Cheryl Burgess, executive officer and chief marketing officer of Blue Focus Marketing of Schirr and the others on the list.

So what’s the secret to getting recognized and becoming influential on social media?

Schirr, who teaches a social media marketing class at RU, said a complete social media effort involves three components: rich content, outreach and engagement, and community or network.

The professor explained that his Wordpress blog is his personal choice for providing rich content, although he has experimented with Storify and Instagram. To find and reach out to new people, Twitter is his social media tool of choice. LinkedIn gives Schirr his community, and to some extent, so does Twitter, he said.

When it comes to social media success, visual content tends to go a long way toward capturing and engaging audiences, Schirr noted. "The trend in social media is toward visual communication, so anyone with the requisite skills or interest should consider creating rich content on YouTube, Vine, Instagram or Pinterest," Schirr said.

Also, you have to keep your social media content fresh. You don't want to "feel forgotten," as Schirr explained to the Associated Press recently in a widely distributed article.

Dec 3, 2013