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At Bal Harbour shops red velvet ropes have developed a soft spot for Foursquare mayors, while VIP lounges are catering to the kings and queens of Klout. What gives?

Miami Beach open-air luxury shopping center-the top performing retail complex in the U.S.- is mixing brooches and badges, demographically speaking, and it’s seeing the benefits of developing a social strategy: Mobile media, such as location-based check-in service Foursquare, add layers of relevance for younger consumers entering the luxury fashion fold. They also allow fashion and retail marketers to dangle deals, perks and pampering to individual customers while they are shopping.

“We cater to a discerning customer, and our younger clintele is no exception.”, explained Cherly Stephenson, Director of Marketing at Bal Harbour Shops, which kicked off this social media coming-out party to coincide with it’s Thursday September 8th FASHION’S NIGHT OUT (FNO) festivities.  “We now actively engage on the platforms they frequent most. Social media portals such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare have become imperative.”

To grab the attention of the under-40 crowd, an “over 40” exclusive inner sanctum was created. While FNO is a free event, guests had to possess an “influencer score” of 40-plus with Klout, the event’s social media sponsor, to be granted entry to the “Klout VIP Lounge.” To certify superior social status, the shopper with the highestKlout score was awarded a $500 Bal Harbour Shops gift card. A local Twitter enthusiast won the gift card over more traditionally influential guests with a score of 65.

Additionally, Bal Harbour recognized 100 of its center’s Foursquare store “mayors” at an exclusive cocktail party held on site at a “Mayor’s Lounge” at Savarin on September 1. Guests previewed FNO specials and received other royal perks. Klout began tracking Foursquare activity just last month, and considers active users who provide “Tips” for businesses influential: Of active members, 80% have used a Tip, Klout says.!

A modern marketing move society ladies might not have seen coming last winter? Plain-clothed “flash mob” dancers popped out of the crowd to perform a synchronized dance number as violinists serenaded shoppers with hip-hop inspired musical accompaniment.

Klout pushed the Bal Harbour partnership at microblog Twitter and published partygoer photos (The official Bal Harbour FNO hashtag: #FNOBHS). Both Klout members and the uninitiated were encouraged to promote the event through social media to boost their personal scores.

2010 was Bal Harbour’s best year in it’s 45-year history, and the mall is on track to be the nation’s top performer with sales at $2,306 per square foot this year. Still, it is not immune to the economy and local retail trends. The mall lost Louis Vuitton to the thriving Miami Design District this Spring, which is also making a play for the young, affluent tech-savvy, fashion-forward crowd. All the more reason for Bal Harbour Shops to expand its’ traditional base of society women to social media butterflies.

Bal Harbour Shops’ Fashion’s Night Out proceeds also benefit 30 South Florida charities, including Project Newborn, Jack & Jill Children’s Center, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida & the Honey Shine Mentoring Program.

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