Facebook and Twitter are great channels that marketers can use to reach new audiences and participate in two-way interactions with consumers. Unfortunately, both social networks are also undeniably scattershot as marketing tools. Segmenting and personalizing your communications effectively using either one is difficult, and even your most dedicated fans and followers will likely not read many of your messages.

The chronological layout of Twitter timelines, coupled with the sheer volume of tweets many users receive, makes it almost inevitable that your followers will miss some of your tweets. And Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm can prevent your posts from appearing in your fans' News Feeds if you're not creating content that's consistently interesting to them.

Those facts make a good case for the need to write compelling social media content. They also underscore the value of converting your social media followers into SMS- and email-marketing subscribers. As people who have a genuine, expressed interest in your products and services, your fans and followers are the perfect targets for those efforts.

By recruiting your social fans and followers to your email and SMS lists, you can forge deeper relationships with them by offering more personalized and targeted content than you ever could via social media alone.

You can also increase the likelihood that your communications will be read—particularly in the case of SMS, since 83% of all text messages are read within an hour of being received.

Here are five steps to accelerating your email and SMS list subscriptions using social media.

1. Attract more fans and followers

Publicize your presence on Facebook and Twitter in your stores, on your website, and in your ads. Facebook ads are another cost-effective way to get more fans. Entice people to "fan" or "follow" you by offering them exclusive content they won't find anywhere else, and emphasize giveaways and discounts.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Watland is co-founder and president of Signal, a Chicago-based company that offers businesses a platform that unifies email, mobile, and social marketing. Recently named No. 108 on the 2011 Inc. 500 List, Signal can be reached via Twitter, Facebook, and its blog.