Networks and online communities can be extremely helpful when having to share your work, whether you are just a student, or a professional working person, it is a requirement, in this society you need to make your work public so you can get feedback and reviews, but most important, people can identify with you and support your work. Of course, I am talking from a personal perspective, but looking from our NGO’s point of view, they have social networks, but they don’t use them properly, and they don’t get involved with possible donators within the same networks, so in conclusion, they have a very little amount of awareness throughout the social media for all the time they have been using it.
When designing a platform for social media, as a designer, I will first think of simplicity and elegance. Every tool for raising awareness, personally or as a company, should be totally intuitive so every person can use it. If you look at Facebook, for example, it has so many options and ways of doing things, all of the menus and the pop ups distract people from the real matter, and there are persons that are completely clueless about how to do some things inside Facebook, like creating a group instead of a page. Most important thing here is to make the user feel comfortable with the tool/platform.
Most of what I want to learn is slightly related to this topic, but not so much, actually. If I had to do something related to social networks and communities, I would love to learn programming languages to create platforms. I love when I use online tools that actually allows me to do something different than the other tools. Extra features are awesome.
Finally, I would add that if you objective is to raise awareness through social media, consider first looking for non common platforms that allow you to manage and improve your actual social accounts.