Regardless of your needs, a consultant can probably work within your budget, time requirements, and client-contact needs. I am flexible and happy in any of the three roles and even some hybrid roles. Again, we are in these projects together. The only way I'm successful is to deliver the project on-time and on-budget with a happy client on the other end.
It's not always easy to put the ROI in a direct line correlation to the LIKES on facebook or the followers on Twitter, but with some proper analytics the story of social media's success will become easier to justify. The CEO may not understand how "activity" equals revenue. It is our job as social media strategists to prove that value and in doing that, sustain the support for the social media outreach program. The sales pitches need to stay internal to the corporate executives and not become the pseudo-social "voice" of your company.