The geography of social media, according to a recent survey conducted by English for Social Media, is as follows:
- 62% of adults worldwide now use social media
- 65% of the world’s top companies have an active Twitter profile
- 23% of Fortune 500 companies have a public-facing corporate blog
- 58% of Fortune 500 companies have an active corporate Facebook account,
- 62% of Fortune 500 have an active corporate Twitter account 
TESOL organizations, teachers, administrators, and students are among these statistics and are circuiting on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Instagram. Social media plays an important role in awareness and growth of TESOL programs worldwide. We’re familiar with TESOL blogs, as they’ve become popular and common communication methods in our global field, but the TESOL social media frenzy is trending beyond blogging and online seminars. It’s spreading to the mother sites of social media.
I discovered at a recent conference on national language identity just how common “Tweeting,” “Facebooking,” and “Instagramming” truly are among young and veteran professionals in our field. Smart phone apps for Facebook and Twitter seem to be the go-to on everyone’s smart phones. They are easily and quickly accessible; 10-minute transition periods between sessions provided conference attendees enough time to check statuses and trends while socializing in the lobby of the OSU Faculty Center, with plenty of time to spare.
What exactly is social media used for in our field? From a teacher’s/school’s perspective: lessons, homework, group discussions, communication with staff and students, and other educational or informative tasks. From an organization’s perspective: teaching advice, lesson templates and ideas, career advising, position postings, news and updates in the field, student assistance, and multilingual information. Lastly, ESL students can easily acquire information regarding the English language, job postings, higher education programs, and much more.
Users can quickly and efficiently correspond with TESOL members and share inquiries regarding TESOL topics in hopes of expanding their knowledge and sharing best practices. Our field is a 21st century one, and it is up to us to keep up as 21st century members.
I too consider myself a tech socialite, following my fair share of TESOL related users on Twitter and Facebook. I am also involved in the ODU TESOL LinkedIn group, comprised of Ohio Dominican MA TESOL students. Here are some popular Twitter users I follow and recommend: