Tracking interactions with social CRM adds a completely new layer (or layers, depending on how you look at it) to your traditional CRM experience. Suddenly you find yourself monitoring conversations that are happening quickly – and constantly, it seems. It can be really difficult to keep up. It’s easy, then, to just start recording all of that information that you gather and never making time for following up on it.

This is why it’s incredibly important to budget your time when it comes to managing your customer relationships. You can have all of the records in the world that detail those interactions, and you can review them all day long if you want. But the simple truth is that, while those records can help, they aren’t conversions.

In order to turn those records into conversions, you have to take the time to breathe some life into them. Collecting records of conversations and information never did anything for anybody unless those records were brought to life.

The term “social CRM” already indicates that it’s social (or should be). The ‘R’ in CRM stands for relationship, and it gives that sociability a goal. With your social CRM solutions, you should be building and fostering relationships. That is how you will build interest, leads, and conversions.

Reach out. Even if you’re just saying hello and asking if you can answer any questions, you can’t establish a relationship if you never move past the recording stage. Reach out to the person behind the data and make an effort to start building a relationship with them. This helps them to build their trust in you, which is a crucial aspect of making conversions. You want them to know that you are knowledgeable, helpful, and trustworthy.

Check in. There’s no rule that says you have to be in touch with your leads every day. In fact, many would say that every day is a little too often. But you do want to check in from time to time to see how they’re doing, find out if they have any questions, and generally be of as much assistance as you can be. This lets them know that you haven’t forgotten about them and helps to foster and grow that relationship.

Follow up. After you make a sale, it might be tempting to mark that information in your social CRM records and forget all about it. Case closed. But if you want a repeat buyer and/or good referrals, you need to maintain that relationship. Follow up to see how they liked their product or service. Gauge their interest in any future products or services. This helps to keep that relationship alive and well, and thus the possibility for future business remains alive.

While all of the records you keep are most certainly important, it’s more important that you make strides toward taking that data and turning it into a sustainable relationship from which leads and conversions will grow.

Do you place more emphasis on the gathering of data or the building of professional relationships? What are some of your best practices for striking that balance? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!