How to make the most of backpacking Facebook Groups.
It’s pretty awkward when you ask a question on a backpacking or travel Facebook Group and you’re just met with tumbleweed rolling over your post. Backpacking Facebook Groups are a super useful resource for an extended trip abroad, especially in New Zealand. Use them to get ride shares, buy/swap/sell, ask questions and find other travellers to meet up with. How you use a Facebook Group, however, will determine how successful you are on them. A bland and vague post is not going to get you many responses, just like how a poorly described car is not going to sell to other backpackers hitting the road in New Zealand. By following a few simple tips, you can kill it on backpacking Facebook Groups and really use them to your advantage!Haven’t joined any Facebook Groups for backpacking yet? Check out 5 Must Join Facebook Groups for Backpackers in New Zealand.
1. Ask specific questions
“I’m coming to New Zealand next week. Where shall I go?” This type of question is too vague, too generic and would take forever to reply to with a multitude of answers. The more specific your questions are, the easier they are for people to answer. This brings us onto our second point…
2. Do some research before asking questions
When a community of backpackers have been using a backpacking Facebook Group for a while, it can get pretty tedious for them if they see the same questions popping up over and over again. Many of your questions can be answered with a quick Google or even a search on NZPocketGuide.com! What’s more, you can even type your key words into the search bar of the Facebook Group – every Group has one – to see if anyone has discussed your query before! This saves you time and allows you to find the answer to your question quickly.
3. Check your messages
If someone on a Facebook Group says they are going to “PM” you, this means they are going to send you a private message. You don’t always get a notification when someone you are not friends on Facebook with messages you, therefore, you need to manually check your Facebook messages. To do so, click on the “Connection Request” tab in your messages. Check your message requests regularly after posting in a Facebook Group.
4. Read and follow the rules
Every backpacking Facebook Group usually has its own set of rules to follow. Make sure you read them and abide by them as to not get banned from the group.
5. Be aware of suggested links
Have you had it where you’re typing away on Facebook and it starts linking to random shit? Well, that happens to a lot of people and can be very confusing if you don’t delete these suggested links if you didn’t mean to link to them.
6. Sell items at a fair price
Look at the current prices for the items you are selling. If you are priced too high, then you are unlikely to sell. For instance, there is no point in selling the last five hours of your InterCity bus pass for NZ$50 when they usually sell around NZ$25-$30.
7. Use Car Buy/Sell groups
Because of the huge amount of backpackers looking to buy or sell a vehicle, many backpacker groups have got bombarded with car buy/sell posts. For this reason, there are now some dedicated and much-used car buy/sell groups that make it much easier for users to browse the vehicles for sale, for example, take a look at Backpackers Cars Buy&Sell New Zealand.
8. Include information and pictures in car sales
To sell your car as quickly as possible, make sure you include as much information as possible in your sale description. Write the full vehicle specifications, alterations or services you have had done to it, and any other inclusions. With that, you also need to include multiple pictures of the car inside and out. Anything less will invoke suspicion about the car and make it seem like you have something to hide. For more tips on selling your car, check out How to Sell Your Car in New Zealand.
9. Don’t bump questions
If you are not getting your question answered, don’t bump your post by adding comments to your post. Instead, think about why no one is answering your question. Has it already been answered before? Is it something you can Google? Or are you not being clear or specific enough? Try reformulating your questions and post again.
10. Speak English
When using these backpacking Facebook Groups, speak English. If you want to use another language, then write your post in English first then in another language below. If you can’t do that, then there are plenty of schools you could go to Studying English in New Zealand.
11. Use the price field
Facebook Groups that are used to buy and sell items allow you to put the price of the item you are selling in a “Price” field. Make sure you insert the price of the item here, rather than listing for “FREE” then putting the price in the description. This is misleading and annoying for browsers.
12. Add a picture to your post
Want to really get your post noticed? Add a picture. Even if your post doesn’t necessarily require a picture, add a fun picture anyway. If you are asking a question, looking for a lift, or wanting to meet up with people, add a fun picture of yourself to make your most feel more legit. Maybe don’t go as far as this girl though…
13. Make a plan
When asking to meet up with people or see if anyone wants to do an activity with you, make sure you make a plan and post this in your initial post. If the work looks like it has been done for people, they are more likely to accept your invitation to socialise or do an activity. Be specific on a time and place if you are looking for people to meet up with, or talk about the price and transportation if you are inviting people to do an activity with you. For more ways to meet people, see 8 Ways to Meet People When Travelling Alone in New Zealand.
14. Double-check individual comments
Although the backpacking community in New Zealand is generally very nice and mean well, they can get answers wrong. If you receive an individual comment to your question post, double-check his answer on Google in case that individual got it wrong. For instance, just because someone was able to do something “last year” doesn’t necessarily mean it is the same for this year. Check the facts.
15. Keep it relevant
Backpacking in New Zealand Facebook Groups are about, well, backpacking in New Zealand. Keep posts relevant to the subject.