The primary Facebook page for the Department of Veterans Affairs has amassed more than 200,000 "fans," increasing the department's ability to communicate directly with Veterans across the nation.
"We started our social media program with the vision of getting the right information to the right Veteran at the right time," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "This achievement allows us to reach a significant portion of the Veteran population, by sharing information that is important to them."
The milestone was achieved less than three years after the creation of VA's office of online communications, which oversees all social media programs. The office has been led by Brandon Friedman since its inception in August 2009, and was launched as part of the President's directive that agencies should create such organizations in support of the administration's "Open Government" plan.
"This is a notable milestone for VA," said Mike Galloucis, VA's executive director of public and intergovernmental affairs. "It shows we are using all available means to reach Veterans with important information related to the benefits they have earned through their service to our Nation."
VA has over 150 Facebook pages, most of which belong to individual VA medical centers, with a combined subscribership of more than 440,000 fans. In addition to Facebook, VA maintains an extensive social media presence with 70 Twitter feeds, the VAntage Point blog, a YouTube channel with over 400 videos, and a Flickr page containing over 12,000 photos.
To access and connect to VA's social media sites, visit VA's social media directory:http://www.va.gov/opa/socialmedia.asp.