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Management Practices

Digital Director: Rachel Speed at Intrigue Salon

Stacey Soble | June 27, 2014 | 9:45 PM

Intrigue Salon and Club Intrigue
Atlanta, Georgia
Owner: Jeff South
Digital Director: Rachel Speed

Over the past several years, Jeff South has been pioneering new avenues in advanced education. By day, his bustling Atlanta-based Intrigue Salon serves a well-heeled clientele, but after closing hours on certain nights, the space transforms into Club Intrigue—a forum for education that welcomes all stylists regardless of manufacturer affiliation or salon size and hosts a constant stream of headlining guest artists.

Digital Director: Rachel Speed at Intrigue Salon One of South’s friends, Nick Arrojo, is a frequent guest educator, and three years back he told South, “You know you and your salon are so much better than your presence online.” Following Arrojo’s lead, South began exploring someone to help him manage his brand like Andrew Arrojo manages Nick’s. With the growth of Club Intrigue, South determined he needed someone with a strong graphics expertise to provide overall marketing support—someone who not only could support his growing digital needs, but who could provide graphic design and take photographs and video.

South started by structuring an internship and looking toward the local Savannah College of Art and Design for a student to fill it, but he ended up hiring Rachel Speed, a SCAD graduate, at $25 an hour to work Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. “We learned that for us we couldn’t just hire a freelancer who does the work from a computer at home—our director really needed to be in the salon and see what’s going on,” South says. “Hiring Rachel a year ago ended up making a monumental change in our business.”

In addition to creating a whole host of traditional marketing pieces for Intrigue, Speed started revamping the salon’s digital communications making the website more visual and customer-friendly. “Our goal was to make the site more reflective of the salon’s culture and we did that through photography.”

Next, Speed began growing the salon’s online presence through the social media. “Facebook continues to be our most effective social media tool, and we host two pages, one for the salon and one for Club Intrigue, but we also feature many images on Pinterest and Instagram.”

For Intrigue Salon’s social media sites, photography is key, since Speed trends toward celebrity looks and beauty and hair trends. “We always grab more attention with a great image, and we tend to not post any cuts or colors that are too extreme. We trend toward classic cuts and hues that have been modernized because that reflects what our clientele are seeking,” Speed says. “And we focus on tips and advice that ties back to the salon—for example, tips for dealing with summer hair in Atlanta.”

On the other hand, the Club Intrigue page promotes upcoming educational events and features images and quotes from past ones. “With this page, we’re really trying to get people excited about an event, and we’ve discovered that video is also a good way to do that.”

To help develop a marketing voice for the company, Speed has really examined what some art galleries are doing. “There are quite a few similarities between a salon and a gallery, and for the salon, stylists are creating art through their services. It’s really about featuring the talent of the stylists and presenting the salon like the gallery that houses it.”

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