Veterans on Facebook may find information about their benefits easier to access as the organization expands its social media presence, most notably featuring 152 Facebook pages- one for every center in the US.
A press release detailing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs efforts in social media indicates that after the site created a single Facebook page in 2008, as of today, the department boasts 152 Facebook pages, YouTube content, 64 Twitter feeds, a Flickr account and a blog called “VAntage Point.” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki commented in the release on the reasons behind the push to reach out to a new generation of veterans using more tech-forward tools. He says:
“This event marks an important milestone in the overall effort to transform how VA communicates with Veterans and provide them the health care and benefits they have earned. Veterans and their families told us from the beginning that they want to engage and they want relevant information delivered at the local level. By leveraging Facebook, the Department continues to expand access to VA, and embrace transparency and two-way conversation.”
The VA’s director of online affairs, Brandon Friedman, added:
“Veterans of all eras are depending on us to get the right information to the right person at the right time. With more troops returning home, we also have a responsibility to connect with the thousands of Servicemembers who have been–and will be–entering our system. They’re using social media, so that’s where we need to be. Facebook helps us do that.”
Across all its Facebook pages, the VA currently has 345,000 fans.