Alterian Logo at This is the second interview in the ROI of Social Media podcasts series.  In this episode we feature the co-founder of Alterian, Mike Talbot and the VP and co-founder of Techrigy, which was acquired by Alterian in July of 2009, primarily for their social media monitoring tool, SM2.

ROI of Social Media at We’re doing this interview to explore how the social media industry views social media ROI and whether or not it is a measurable function.  Guy Powell, my collaborator in the podcast, is the author of ‘Marketing Calculator: measuring and managing the return on marketing investment’, who has made a study of the ROI question in marketing and now, in collaboration with yours truly, is bringing his knowledge to the question of ROI in Social Media.

What Guy and I are finding in our interactions is that the ROI of the two worlds, traditional marketing and social media marketing, are still very different.  We are exploring the question with an open mind, documenting our findings, producing content for you our audience and as we can, we’ll share our conclusions about this burgeoning subject.

The interview was long and as is a favorite process of mine, I divide the complete interview down into more digestible episodes, each around 5 to 10 minutes each.

In this episode we open with the question ‘What factors do you consider when it comes to social media ROI?’

Aaron Newman Alterian VP Marketing Mike Talbot Alterian CTO There is a lot more to the answer than is apparent in this episode, but Aaron and Mike are both suggesting that you really need to craft a strategy before you enter into social media.  Once you do, you can establish result measures, albeit the measures may be both qualitative vs. quantitative (hard and soft).

Aaron and Mike both point out that there are also hard cost and soft costs.  We hear that most of social medias hard costs are staff and the associated burden of staff and likewise there are hard and soft benefits.  Soft benefits include tough to measure elements such as corporate goodwill.

The interview has a few pops and cracks in it, due to a technical problem (the loose nut on the other side of the keyboard it turns out) but it is very listenable.

From guy and myself, we hope you enjoy the information and the work we are doing to uncover the ROI of Social Media!

Play / Download Mike Talbot / Aaron Newman Episode 1 Podcast Here