Marines innovate to stay relevant, surpass 1 million fans on Facebook

3 Mar 2011 | Cpl. Scott Schmidt

The last service to enter the social media space, the Marine Corps now leads the way in the era of emerging media.

The Marine Corps’ Facebook page became the first official Department of Defense page to surpass 1 million fans March 2, doing so in a single year.

Marine Corps officials said the success of their social networking site is based on compelling engagement with its online community. In response to the Corps’ success, one fan posted his encouragement. “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, to the figurative beachhead of the internet,” he said.

Hundreds of Marine Corps units are engaging in open communication through Facebook, allowing Marines to interact with an audience exceeding 2 million people.  

The Corps’ innovation has lead to other first time achievements as well.

Marines magazine was the first military service to offer a digital version of their magazine online and the first to deliver an official magazine as an app for the Apple iPad. The Corps recently became the first service to offer their magazine for viewing on the Droid – for free.

Marines are even blogging. The Marines Blog features topics from family management to asking tough questions such as whether Afghanistan could become a forgotten war. Compared with other service blogs, Marines postings garner the most attention.

So who are the men and women behind the Corps’ success online?

Marines – young, old, retired and active – are defined in the Marine Corps’ social media principles as “one of the most vital assets.” Greg Reeder, Director of Marine Corps Production and social media lead contends that the thousands of family members and supporters that visit the Marine Corps’ social media presences each day balance these capabilities and says the Corps’ success in social media is a direct byproduct of the Corps’ interactive community.  

Going forward, the Marines will rely on their 1 million fans for further success with plans to make content compatible with Android tablets, the Nook, Kindle and multiple mobile devices. 

The Marine Corps will continue to innovate communication in media-intensive environments to remain the nation’s force in readiness.

Related resources:

• Marines Blog
• Marines Magazine online
• Marines iPad on the App store
• Droid access –– direct from your phone
• Marine Corps’ Social Media directory
• Marines official Facebook page
• Get the connected to the Corps on Twitter
• Marines Pictures on Flickr
• Marines video on YouTube

Headquarters Marine Corps