Many businesses started getting aware of the power of social media. Often they think what would be better, to give the task to company that manage their SEO or PR agency.
As anything else both have advantages and disadvantages, but there are many other options too.
Personally I would recommend companies to stimulate employees to use social media and not blocking top social networks at working place, but ask they to include their current position on their “about” page.
On few occasions, I started social media campaign for companies and they refused to invite existing customer to their social media fan page. Well, this is a totally wrong approach as social media is the fastest way to announce promotion to existing customers and strengthening relationship with them.
SEO vs. PR vs. Advertising Agency
SEO practitioners know how to drive traffic from search engines, but when we are talking about engagement, they are losing points compared to PR and advertising agencies. The downside may be outsourcing work to different companies, but surely this would be beneficial.
I personally would recommend to choose the only that can show you previous work done, ideally related to the same niche. Social media marketing isn’t new and for sure there are companies that are doing this for few years, already. Be really careful and learn as much as possible about the strategy, in many cases this may violate social network terms of service, I personally receive about hundred requests a day to like page from web developers and SEOs from one particular country. Those likes don’t mean anything, because probably those people will never come to look again at the fan page.
Personally I would recommend NOT buying fans, friends and followers or participating in like exchanges. This may work for bloggers and for funny pictures website, but not for serious businesses.
As well ask about proposed ROI from social media campaign, many companies would say that tracking ROI from social media is not possible, but that’s not quite true. Using own branded URL shortener and tracking links should be able to uncover some part of the picture, as well as checking regularly latest tools in Google Analytics.
Different Approach of Social Media
One of the best methods (certainly not cheap), is to create your own social network or membership website or integrate membership function of your website. Currently a trendy topic is “structural markup language” and user reviews. Offer this option to existing customers, this will build very strong bonds between your company and clients, as well as it will be improve search engine rankings and outsmart competition.
Cost should not be an issue, consider every possible option with your team, for sure you may outsource part of the work and you may do very well with your in-house experts, but remember that there is always space for improvement.