A while ago I wrote a post about Fweeting. It generated a lot of interest and some constructive comments. As a social media consultant, part of my business is running the social media presence for companies that choose to outsource the function.
As always, different consultants have different ways of operating. Healthy competition is not a bad thing, in my opinion. It keeps us consultants on our toes and means that clients have a good range of people to select from when they're looking for a service provider.
Having said all that, I was actually quite shocked to find that some social media companies ask clients to pay a lump sum at the end of a contract to "buy out" their feeds (such as Twitter and Facebook). The alternatives to not buying out a feed is to renew the contract with the original social media company - or have it deleted. If I'm honest, it hadn't occured to me that the feeds could do anything else except belong to the client.
My business model is structured such that the social media feeds belong to the client and that I keep the content fresh, interesting and up to date. At the end of a contract, the client decides what happens to their social media presence. They are free to re-engage me, run it themselves, get someone else to run it or delete it if they so wish.
If you're looking to outsource your social media, I'd advise you to ask your consultant to clarify this issue for you.