One of the leading resources that consumers use to help guide their dining decisions is TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor offers a suite of marketing tools for food truck vendors. Many are free but a few premium features are available for a fee. To get a better idea of what’s available for vendors we put together some useful tips for using this tool.
5 Tips For Food Truck Owners Considering TripAdvisor
Should Your Food Truck Be On TripAdvisor?
The simple answer is yes. Every vendor should be optimising and managing their TripAdvisor listing because:
- It’s FREE Word of Mouth marketing, which the most trusted form of advertising.
- It is a FREE tool for your customers to rate and review your food truck. It also helps to build relationships with your customers
- TripAdvisor is a FREE, high-quality inbound link into your website. This helps your truck get found in search engine results by potential customers.
- It offers transparency for your food truck business. TripAdvisor is popular as it is an unbiased platform in which customers can use in their decision-making process, and;
- It gives vendors an indication about the quality of their product/service. This is a great way to collect information for ongoing improvements to managing your food truck business.
How Should You Manage Your Account?
The first step is to join the conversation where people are writing and reading these reviews. On TripAdvisor, this means registering for a TripAdvisor listing which is completely free. Once registered, you can access the TripAdvisor Management Center and respond to reviews. Responding to reviews shows reviewers you care what they have to say.
This will also give potential customers a better understanding of what kind of service they can expect from you. The other benefit to registering is that you get access to all of the other free features in the Management Center, such as uploading photos, updating your business hours and amenities.
How Are TripAdvisor Rankings Calculated?
While there are many variables that enter in its complex algorithm, TripAdvisor will not release all of the factors used to determine their rankings. What we do know is that there are three main components that contribute to your ranking in its system: quantity of comments, quality of comments, and recency. Take these factors into account when managing your account.
Do NOT offer incentives for reviews
Incentives, like offering discounts or coupons in exchange for writing a review, actually violate their rules. They hinder the validity and accuracy of a customer review. Incented reviews are removed so they don’t influence your TripAdvisor ranking, and other penalties against your listing and ranking could be imposed.
Is the Premium program worth it?
As we stated earlier, TripAdvisor offers both free and premium services for food trucks. The key is to understand what you get once you upgrade your free account.
- Attention-Grabbing Storyboard. Consumers shop with their eyes ; capture their attention with a Storyboard. The Storyboard replaces your food truck’s static photo and blends images and reviews into a dynamic visual presentation that makes a powerful first impression at the top of your truck’s listing page.
- Highlight Top 3 Reasons To Eat Here. Top 3 Reasons allows you to tell the world why people love your mobile food business and why they should visit. This appears right above the review section. You choose the reasons and entice potential customers with what makes your food truck special.
- Showcase a Favorite Review. Customers make decisions fast, make sure they see your favorite review. Favorite Review allows you to spotlight a review that you feel best represents your business to quickly provide more social proof of a great experience that’s being delivered.
- Capitalize on Exclusive Data. Advanced competitive analytics highlighting how you stack up against your competitors.
These TripAdvisor Premium features, combined, present a compelling story and allow you to showcase your food truck at its best to convert visitors into customers.
The Bottom Line
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site, with millions of travelers visiting each month to research and plan their perfect trip. Your truck can get listed for free or you can upgrade to get premium tools.
Being on TripAdvisor will increase exposure of your food truck to a large, audience and give you access to many free marketing tools. Getting listed is easy so why wouldn’t you take control of your food truck listing?