Social Media Could Help Educate More Vets About Benefits

The department has spent millions on Facebook advertising to veterans in the past two years.

Social media may comprise part of a new Veterans Affairs Department program to reach out to returning soldiers who aren’t taking advantage of VA benefits, a contractor said.

VA recently awarded the Virginia-based contractor Reingold a $13.8 million contract to reach out to the 40 to 50 percent of veterans who don’t take full advantage of those benefits through a new website and through paid media such as television ads, according to a press release.

“There is also a potential social media outreach component to the contract that is being hammered out,” a Reingold official said. “One idea being discussed is developing content that partners would be able to disseminate through social media channels to draw attention to VA resources.”

VA’s Make the Connection program spent $2 million on Facebook advertisements for a similar program to connect veterans with services last year and plans to spend an additional $1million on Facebook ads this year.

Facebook is, by far, the most popular social networking site among veterans. The military services have also spent money on Facebook ads aimed mainly at recruitment.

A VA spokesperson quoted in the press release said the contract is “part of a comprehensive and synchronized VA outreach campaign to expand access to earned care and benefits for eligible veterans, their survivors, and family members.”

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