Community Management should be first on the budget not the final consideration when you're planning a social media program.
In the new book 'What's the Future of Business', Brian Solis says Customer Service should be the first phase of your social strategy. "It's the first mile of the customer experience".
Solis says; the majority of resources are invested in marketing, not in supporting customers through engagement on social networks.
While social media campaigns can be successful with minimal community management; I believe the ones that achieve the best results have the customer experience at the heart of the strategy.
People like doing business with people and brands they trust. So if a customer/fan comments or posts a question on a brand page and has to wait hours to get a response that creates the impression the brand dosen't really care.
Put Community Management first on your budget and make a commitment to make every social engagement meaningful and rewarding for all concerned.