Mark Juppenlatz, from Next Backpackers, goes online to market the business.
Mark Juppenlatz, from Next Backpackers, goes online to market the business. Karleila Thomsen

Facebook targets Next generation

TORQUAY'S Next Backpackers has started blogging, joined Facebook and begun advertising on the Facebook site to communicate with its target market.

Next Backpackers manager Mark Juppenlatz said it was essential for businesses targeting young people to use social media and Facebook formed the biggest part of Next's marketing program.

He said the upmarket hostel, which can sleep 116 people, had six computers for guests to use and when it was busy at night, every person was using Facebook.

“It's a great contact for them for their friends back home,” he said.

“We use it to interact, we get feedback from the guests, we use it for marketing specials.”

Mr Juppenlatz said people were now also using their phones to access the internet so it had a wide reach.

However, he said, it was difficult to measure the success of the internet marketing and whether it was bringing people through the door.

“It's hard to judge,” he said, but many of the hostel's guests said they found out about Next on the internet.

Mr Juppenlatz said the blog was renewed once a week and Facebook was updated on an ad-hoc basis when they had something new to add such as the introduction of a pool table or photos of a fresh trip to Fraser Island.

He said it had been a tough year for local tourism operators but he was happy with Next's performance, with the business currently averaging about 50 people per night.



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