I know as much about social media as I do about the precise audience profile of You magazine (except for my mom - I know her). Even though we can all work with reach and frequency to get ARs, there's more to media planning than just the numbers (although I have met the odd media planner who prefers paint by numbers - painful).
Good media planners have an understanding of the trends and a better indication of the efficacy of your placements. Because that's their focus. And sometimes they can be downright ingenious - simply because they know things you don't, and can connect those things which you can't. I wanted to use the word integrated, but it's been so abused, I won't.
I was quickly put in my place recently when I espoused on the key factors required for SEO. I was gently informed that meta tags are no longer the holy grail - SEO had become more intricate as Google's algorithms have become more intricate. You gotta stay with it to be good at it. A digital agency adds value, simply because they stay with the medium. They know what's going on.
Just part of the mix
However, there seems to be this constant desire to substantiate the social component of a campaign. Sure, there are some success stories where social media blazed the trail, but in the majority of cases it is one medium in the mix. Just because 10,000 people liked your page means very little in relation to final purchase - that's why it's called social media and not social sales media.
I said 'however' in the previous paragraph, and here's another: However, to exclude social (or its broader cousin online) media from a campaign should be the exception and not the rule. The reason is simply the ROP (return on placement - I made that up). The virtual arena comes with minimal (sometimes insignificant) flighting costs. You'll probably pay the digital agency infinitely more than you'll pay for space. And they deserve every penny, because they are remunerated for that precious commodity - time.
So next time you want to fire an employee for Internetitis - remember, they might be surfing so that you can stay on the wave.