I have just come off the phone to a multi-million pound business that has launched their way into social media back in November 2009. In fact they haven't at all. They have employed a press agency to do it for them, along side at least 5 other branches of the same business. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact for many big businesses and retailers, it is best managed by an external source in my opinion... but only if it will be done in the right way.
If you choose to employ a 'virtual twitterer' you have enlisted them to post content, syndicate other content and engage with people on behalf of your business. Miss any of these three things and it could potentially harm how people see you online.
In looking at the twitter stream for the retail giant I mentioned at the start... the tweets started in November (only 124 in 188 days). There are only 4 RT's, 2 @ mentions and 2 #FollowFriday's mentioning the same people, the clients that this press agency are working for. There needs to be much more interaction for this social media thing to work for them.
Social media is not just about broadcasting offer messages, events and opening times... this just adds to the noise out there and really does not interest people in the slightest. You end up looking like you are shouting. This is what this press agency is doing for this retailer... and the other branches. But they wont tell me who is doing it for them, they will give the feedback to them direct.
If you are a press agency or a virtual twitter for another brand... please engage with your audience. Don't just spit out reams of content. People choose to follow people to engage with them in social media, not just to listen to advertising.