As you may already know there are many social networks that are “free” to register and begin using their services. There are some things that you may not know about those “free” services, they are designed as a social network and not as a B2B or business web site. Although some businesses do use them for exactly that, there are some serious drawbacks of doing so. First issue is they all are ad supported, meaning they all have an assortment of advertisements from other companies and businesses all over the page. This takes away a large amount of attention from the page owners information, down plays everything their web page was intended to be and just plain looks poorly designed and unprofessional.

From Website Magazine Feb, 2012; Internet professionals have come to realize that when executed properly, a Web page can still achieve rock-star results with a more classical approach. This trend will only become more evident in 2012, and it is especially important in the case of landing pages. “You don’t want landing pages to shout at your visitors, or have many elements on the page competing for their attention,” says Tim Ash, CEO of landing page optimization firm SiteTuners. “The most effective pages you’ll see will have a Zen-like simplicity to them, and the desired call-to-action should naturally arise out of this background of stillness.” So, for anyone considering a website redesign this year, the advice is ... well, simple. Try turning the volume down a few notches and instead aspire to achieving a harmonious hum. By no means should you be trying to outshout the competition — that is so last decade.

Keeping in mind all that the experts have said, still if you use the “free” social networks as your web page, it not only looks like you have the guy in the mail room go home and build your companies web site on his own time but maybe even the help of his teen aged children as well. Not at all impressive, but even worse, makes your Company look too broke or cheap to get a “real” web site and have a professional do it. Not fortune 500 material, no defiantly not.

Also many and almost all require the visitor to your “free” social network web site to register and become a member and they must login every time to see your web page. Most people will not bother to do that, or are irritated you require them to do that, you become responsible for what ever the “free” social network does and/or requires and what ever their reputation becomes. These social networks are really geared towards children and non-professional use, you I am sure if had a choice you would not have backgrounds with cute flowers and puffy clouds for a Banking Corporation web page, you can not possibly be a stable Corporation in that case.

The social networks are aware of these limitations, but they have very little interest in your Company other then the media coverage you may supply them, they are only concerned with large numbers of members, most do not know you exist or ever care to. This is so they can get the ad support needed to profit. So now we are back to the first serious issue with using “free” social networks. But you can pay these networks a monthly fee to remove ad's and improve some of these issues, but now they are no longer “free” but they still look very poorly designed, take away any seriousness or cultural impact of your brand or business reputation. If you were selling designer products you are now just average, maybe discount store shelves are next.

Think about it, your business rests on all your decisions being the right ones, the first time around.