What's the first thing you notice when you look at a magazine or book cover? The imagery! We as humans are visual creatures; The eyes aren’t just windows to the soul – they are direct pathways to the brain. Literally.
Fun Fact #1: 90% of the information that the brain processes is visual.
The Power of Images
In Imarc’s 20 years, we have worked with incredible clients across many industries. If there is one group that can benefit from great images, it's CPA societies.
State Certified Public Accounting societies – also referred to as CPA societies – are membership-based, not-for-profit organizations that support, educate and advocate for the accounting profession.
Over two decades of working closely with this group of clients, we’ve had hundreds of discussions about how to best serve their members. In recent years, there’s been a common thread woven through it: “We need to attract and encourage the next generation of CPAs”.
Fun Fact #2: Your brain processes an image in just 13 thousandths of a second, and forms an opinion in the next tenth of a second.
Connecting with younger audiences
The “generation gap” may be clichéd, but it's real. Young professionals and students use mobile and media differently than any other generation.
Fresh college graduates have never experienced a world without Internet; their adolescence was shaped by Twitter and Tumblr and texting, Instagram and Snapchat. And to many, the laptop is the last resort. The age 18–29 set has 100% mobile phone adoption. 94% are using a smartphone.
The channels that worked even a decade ago just aren’t as effective anymore. CPA societies are asking “Where do we even start!?” and that’s totally okay! (The fact you are asking means you’re already headed the right direction!)
In 2017, there were over 700 million Instagram users active on the social media platform. 59% are in the 18-29 age range that CPA societies must woo, and ad engagement on Instagram is sky-high.  Instagram is one of the best places to attract the attention of millennials.
The next question that may be coming up is “where do we even start?”
Let’s start with hashtags. The old “pound sign” symbol, once used to navigate voicemail systems and join conference calls, has a whole new meaning in 2018. A hashtag consists of a word or phrase preceded with a # symbol, and they’ve evolved as a way to make it easier to find content and what's trending. (They’re also sometimes used as ironic commentary.)
Hashtags are instantly recognizable and follow-able; they’ve been co-opted as a remarkably effective marketing tool. Every day we can attribute a conversation we’ve had or an ad that we've seen to the hashtag. Across billboards, commercials or physical products (think Coke: #ShareaCoke), companies are creating a hashtag strategy to engage users.
Fun Fact #3: Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without.
Use the tag to create or join trending topics, allowing users to search based on interest and find what is most valuable to them. Create a hashtag strategy for your society, backed by some research as to what is used within the industry and your target audience will increase.
#ProTip: Recruit some of the youngest members of your society to help with this!
Still not sure if you should be on Instagram? Today, 71% of US Businesses are using Instagram  (and it’s going to keep growing)!
How is this going to drive awareness and traffic for your society? Instagram users engage heavily with the visuals that they see while scrolling! Share a job listing, post a few pictures of your recent event and users will take action and visit your site!
Fun Fact #4: 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. 
To gain traction with your users you need to be where they are. Instagram is a powerful place to be.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, curious or just want to chat about the ways in which to best use your society’s photos, reach out to us! We’d be more than happy to walk you through some features and functions for your site, your social media, and, yes, Instagram.