VA Research now on Facebook
Army Veteran John Borlik is content manager for VA Research's website and social media pages.
Well, you knew it was inevitable...VA Research now has its own Facebook page! The page complements the social media outreach efforts of VA overall. The new
page can be found at www.facebook.com/varesearch. To learn more, VA Research Currents spoke with
Gulf War Veteran and former Army photojournalist John Borlik, who serves as the Web and social media content manager for VA Research.
RC: What can visitors to
expect to find?
We have three main audiences that we hope to serve. First is Veterans. Everything we post to the VA R&D Facebook site will in some way point Veterans,
their families or their care providers to health care resources that could improve their lives. We must also communicate with our population of VA
researchers and provide information valuable to them. We hope the site will also expose the general public to the amazing things VA Research is doing for
Veterans and the entire nation.
RC: Why does VA Research need its own Facebook page? Doesn't VA or VHA (the Veterans Health Administration, part of VA) have one?
VA Research is one of the largest research organizations in the country. We have a lot of information to put out to our audiences. We still leverage the
reach of VA and VHA social media venues through such means as direct posting requests, share requests, and video submissions to the Health Research
playlist on the VHA YouTube page (www.youtube.com/Veteranshealthadmin). We believe, and VHA
agrees, that we have a significant program that deserves to address our own specific audience in the social media realm. In less than a month since the site was made public, we are reaching more than 8,300 people a week. This number will fluctuate, but is a good sign in the early stages of VA Research's social media presence. We also have current relationships with people and organizations that allow us a possible reach of more than 275,000 people. We plan on this number only increasing in the future. We could do none of this without our subscribers who view, comment, like, and share our posts.
How can people contribute to the page?
It is vital that we get contributions from all corners of the VA Research world. For those inside the VA organization, we have set up an easy-to-use social
media submission form on the VHA Intranet. This contains helpful hints about social media postings and a form to submit an entry for consideration for
posting to the R&D Facebook page. The form can be found at: http://vaww.research.va.gov/ORDSocialmedia. For all others, we of course invite them to comment on
any of the material on the page, and to share it with their friends and social media network as they see fit. That's what social media is all about!