Don’t Be Fooled. Having A Lot Of Followers Doesn’t Work Anymore

But here’s what does on social media

Alex Bentley


If you’ve ever looked at the number of followers someone has on social media, and thought it must be a sign that person is influential, think again.

The number of followers a person has rarely correlates to success.

And by “success,” I mean the four factors that define it:

  1. Exposure
  2. Engagement
  3. Trustworthiness
  4. Influence

Exposure is Level 1 in the Social Media Game

I jettisoned the term “influencer” two years ago because I felt it had become so watered down as to be meaningless. I’m not alone in that thinking either.

Those who think it is an accurate term today probably don’t understand the difference between influence and exposure.

Exposure means you show up where the eyeballs are looking.

Exposure may enable some people to make money by trading off their follower count or first-page search results, but exposure alone doesn’t sell products every time.

That’s influence. Which we’ll explore later in this article.

Engagement is Level 2 in the Social Media Game

Many of us think having more followers means we are more influential. But it’s not the number of followers that matter, it’s how engaged they are with you and your messages and whether they take action on your content.

Showing up in someone’s social media feed or appearing on the first page of Google is only one-fourth of the battle. Because people might just scroll right past your content or keep clicking until they find what they need.

Your content needs to draw in your audience and get them to engage. And if they don’t engage with likes, genuine comments and share your content, then the platform’s algorithm will penalize you.

But just like having exposure (i.e. a large follower count), having high engagement doesn’t automatically translate into success—especially if you’re trying to make money as a content creator…



Alex Bentley

I write about crypto, personal finance, business & tech. Also, I publish a bit of humor to make you laugh.