Context: Advanced social media tools have changed the way people communicate, share content, interact, and collaborate. Nowadays, social media (SM) is becoming a valuable platform for facilitating knowledge sharing (KS) and communication, not only on a personal or individual level, but also for organizations. This trend has attracted significant attention from the professional and academic fields. However, despite the important and rapid growth of research in this area, few attempts have been made to systematically review and incorporate findings from previous surveys, and to assess the current state of research regarding social media’s use in knowledge sharing.
Advanced social media (SM) tools have increasingly attracted global attention, due to their pervasiveness and social impact. The dramatic development of this media form has revolutionized how people share their knowledge, and communicate and collaborate with each other, while engaging in conversations in the workplace in a timely manner (Filo et al., 2015; Li and Sakamoto, 2014). Social media platforms incorporate a wide range of online media, including word-of-mouth forums such as Social Networking (SNS) (like Myspace and Facebook), microblogs (like personal blogs or Twitter), pictures or video-sharing applications (like Flickr or YouTube), and collaborative websites like Wikipedia (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010; Osatuyi, 2013; Yan et al., 2013). These types of social media tools are considered to be prominent and well-established spaces for creating knowledge sharing channels, where people are able to find other individuals with similar interests, and share their thoughts with them (Bilgihan et al., 2016). Nowadays, social media applications have moved beyond personal use. They have been increasingly adopted by organizations as tools for knowledge sharing and communication, through a myriad of different means (Kane et al., 2014; Lam et al., 2016). For instance some organizations, including those in the public sector, are exploring the ways social media can be used for knowledge sharing, as a way of enriching citizen’s awareness, and the actions of governments (Dekker and Bekkers, 2015; Osatuyi, 2013). Others may use the tool as a means of generating knowledge within business sectors, and integrating customers into several areas of activity (Busalim, 2016; Kormin and Baharun, 2016). Higher education institutions have also adopted social media as a means of inspiring learning activities (Balakrishnan and Gan, 2016; Kulakli and Mahony, 2014). Health care organizations have adopted the internal use of social media tools for knowledge sharing, facilitating the efficient flow of work-related information within and between teams (Li et al., 2016; Yan et al., 2016a). Moreover, since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, social media has increasingly been used for knowledge sharing within the disaster management field (Yates and Paquette, 2011). All in all, the knowledge sharing applications of social media has dramatically changed how we live, work, learn and interact. They allow for smooth and continuous knowledge sharing within the virtual world (Lussier et al., 2010).