This is partly because they haven't grown up with the internet, as so many younger people have. So they often have a general trepidation about online activities. Related to this is the misconception that social media marketing is primarily a technological process that has to be carried out by geeks. The reality, however, is that it's much more about people, communication and emotions.
There's also the fact that promoting a business was much more straightforward in the past -- even up until relatively recently. Basically, you placed ads in local and state-wide publications, print directories, radio, TV, etc. Heaps of people got to know about what you did. Some would buy from you soon after that. Positive word of mouth resulted if you offered quality service and value for money, bringing in more sales. (I know it was always more complex than that but I think that description covers much of what happened.)
But now everything's changed. You've got to have a conversation with people. And consumers are much more empowered than they were before.
Social media has become a big part of this process. And this is all about sharing -- particularly when you are first building your presence on these networks.
Basically, you have to help other people by pointing them in the direction of good content, products and services. You have to do it without expectation of reward. You just have to be confident that you will get some of that "love" coming back your way. Of course not everyone will reciprocate by sharing your stuff. But a lot of them will. And that's what will help you enormously.
Given this new paradigm, if you think in the old terms of just promoting your own projects and not sharing the work of others, you'll find it a lot harder.
I have spoken to several people who still have this mindset. Talking to one guy about Twitter, I said it's worth following other people in your field, and also sharing their stuff. He looked at me, shocked, and said: "Why would I want to do that? They're my competitors!"
That's true, but only if you're thinking in the old way ... Now, it's not nearly so cut and dried. Yes, it's still probably not a great idea to connect with and share the content of people in your niche in your own city or suburb. But you can still follow people like them who target Australia more generally, or who have no geo-specificity.
Do this and you can make some great connections that can bring benefits indefinitely. Many will be very happy to help you if you help them from time to time, and without expectation. If they have a lot of followers and they share your stuff, you'll be seen by many more people than if you had not done this. Some of these will become your followers and even customers in the long run. So it's definitely worth doing.