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BUSINESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA The Power ofWord ofMouth in the Internet Age BY ANDY VAN HORN

Why social media works It used to be that if you wanted

advice within the parking industry, you would have to pick up the phone and start calling people or travel to a trade show that happens once a year and ask questions. In either instance, your

responses are limited to whom you call or manage to talk to. It was limited by your ability to connect with others. The Internet has totally changed all of that. We have information coming out of our ears. Type in the word “parking” in Google and you get 211million possible

SocialMedia Sites in Parking E-mail-basedmailing list T

An electronic mailing list software application – usually referred to by the trademarked name ListServ, or simply list serve – consists of a set of e-mail addresses for a group in which the sender can send one e-mail and it will reach a variety of people. So if there is a parking list serve and you join it and send an e-mail question, it is then sent to the entire group. Then each member of the group can respond or not. One of the first social media parking applications is a list serve called CPARK-L, which now has more than 1,000 members, you can learn quite a bit there, as well as get some great answers to your questions.


LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. It exists to help you make better use of your professional network and to help the people you trust in return. Once you join LinkedIn, you can send messages to connect with

your professional network. You also can join active groups in the parking industry. For starters, use the Search function with the following names and ask to join: Parking Today, Parking Network (for Professionals), International Parking Institute.

Facebook started out as college student-only networking site, but now has more than 400 million users worldwide. It is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and co-workers. Different organizations can create Facebook “fan pages” to keep in touch with

individuals around the world. Become a “fan” of the following pages, for starters, to keep up-to-date with the world of parking:

Twitter is a real-time information network that allows for only 140 characters per “tweet.” It is a simple tool that helps users connect more meaningfully with the right audience at the right time. Businesses and organizations of all

shapes and sizes are now able to stay connected to their customers. You can join Twitter and then begin following all types of people to hear what they have to say. Try these for starters:


hese social media sites are in no way exhaustive but try to hit a broad cross section of what is out there. Not all platforms work for every individual, so find the one that works for you and use that to get (and give) the information you need. For more social media sites, go to or You can also submit your links there as well.

pages.The Internet has not given us bet- ter information; it gives us access to more information. So the problem now is what information is correct or “whom do we trust.” Most people still do what they used to do when it comes to whom they trust

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