Every other week you will see a list of top 50 most followed people in social media. The list normally consists of celebrities, sports stars, politicians and brands. The real question is are these most followed people on the social media the top influencers out there? There are two big issues which make the number of followers not map directly to the measure of influence.
First one is who influences you as an individual? When you are making a purchasing decision, deciding who to vote for or choosing a movie to watch you don’t necessary look out for what the top followed people on social networks are suggesting. More often you look for advice from your circle of friends whom you trust to make the right suggestion or whom you believe have the same taste and interests as you do. These are the people who influence you more in making a decision than anyone else.
Second point to note is what’s the domain? Not everyone is credible enough to have influence in every domain. For example, if you are a fashion icon, you will have significant influence when it comes to fashion space. Your fans and followers will give value to what you got to say when it comes to fashion trends. But just having a million followers doesn’t make you influential in the topics you have no expertise or credibility. In fact in many cases, attempt to make influence in the areas you have no expertise makes you lose value in your area as well.
Having lots of followers maybe a status symbol in some ways. It does mean that there are people who are interested in listening to what you have to say. But it is a bit over-rated when it comes to measuring the influence. It matters more if you have a few followers who value your word and trust you in your area of expertise.