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Convincing older business owners to invest in social media can be difficult. They can be more comfortable with marketing methods of the past, and they can be reluctant to learn about the newest promotional techniques made possible by advances in technology, such as social media.

Here are five undeniable benefits of social media that could convince older business owners that social media is a worthy investment.

1. Social media is cheaper than most other marketing methods

Many businesses thrive while using social media, all without spending much money at all. Only a few promotional techniques yield a higher return on investment (ROI). Most of the costs of using social media involve design and implementation.

The most popular social media platforms today, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, are free to use. Perhaps the biggest investment is time. Building up a successful online network requires time; but once a company gains some traction, things often take off and grow quickly.

2. Social media results are measurable

Tracking social media marketing results is quite easy. The success of a campaign can be measured by the number of followers, fans, shares, likes, and additional website visitors it generates. All of those can directly relate to increased sales and leads as well.

You can also monitor the keywords associated with a business or brand across the Internet, at any time, as they are discussed by consumers. Reporting those results to older business owners is a great way to convince them of the value of social media as a marketing tool.

3. Businesses cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity

In the past, having a social media presence was beneficial but not something that most businesses were doing. Today, things have changed. Businesses that are not using social media are not only missing out on an opportunity but also sustaining damage because of their absence. Informing older business owners that their competitors are using social media is often enough to interest them in getting started in social media.

4. The domino effect of social media increases results over time

Many older business owners do not realize the power of an online social network. Web users today are conditioned to share. When something entertains, educates, or inspires them, Web users are very likely to share that content with their own networks. That can be described as the domino effect of social media.

Older business owners may assume that they are only as big as their network, but their influence can also spread to the networks of those in their network. That idea is powerful, and it is a huge selling point.

5. Social media content lives on forever

Yet another benefit to marketing online via social media is that content shared on the Internet usually lives on forever, unlike a one-time advertising campaign that takes place... and then is forgotten.

Every piece of information shared by a business via social media is archived. Each interaction that businesses have with potential or current customers can be seen and referenced publicly for years. That is why businesses must be diligent in their social media campaigns. As long as a certain level of momentum is maintained, online social networks continue to grow and become more effective marketing tools over time.

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The five benefits listed in this article are just some of the main benefits of social media that should be shared with older business owners who are hesitant to invest resources into a social media marketing campaign.

Presenting these ideas successfully is the perfect way to convince older business owners to get involved in and excited about the opportunities that such methods can bring to their business. Once a campaign is live, deliver statistics and specific data points that can keep owners encouraged.

As they see their social networks growing, and, in turn, their sales increasing, business owners will only want to invest more time into social.

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Pantelis Vladimirou is managing director of Webarts Ltd, a Cyprus-based digital agency providing social media marketing, SEO, and other online marketing services.