Followers vs Connections: What Really Matters?

Followers vs Connections: What Really Matters?

When I started out on LinkedIn, one of the first complexities I found was the concept of connections and followers. It was a big part of the software’s User Experience. Also, it wasn’t like Twitter or Instagram; it was different.

Connecting and following are two outlets that LinkedIn provides you to get acquainted with professionals all around the world. Personally, I found this concept more formal than the usual Facebook friends or twitter followers.

Followers and connections are often intercepted as the same by newbies, but is that true? Well, the answer is a clear-cut no, looks like we have a lot of ground to cover. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

LinkedIn followers are people who choose to follow your profile but are not connected to you. Connections are people you are connected to and have accepted your connection request. Connections allow you to message and endorse them, while followers can only view your profile and updates.

However similar these features might look, they happen to have different concepts, different advantages, and different flaws. It’s good to question yourself every once in a while whether out of the two, are you prioritizing the correct feature. Is there a healthy balance between the two?

Let’s dig right in and solve your queries.


1/ Followers vs Connections: The Difference
2/ Advantages & Flaws of Followers
3/ Benefits of Relevant Connections
4/ How To Prioritize Between The Two?
5/ As a LinkedIn Marketer…

Followers vs Connections: The Difference

LinkedIn followers are more of a one-sided conversation. On the other hand, connecting allows the platform to be a two-way street. Confused? Let me simplify it.

When you send a request to connect with a user, you end up following them as well, without realizing it. Unless the user accepts the invitation, it ends up being one-sided. If the user agrees to connect, then they follow you too.

In terms of interaction, the main difference between LinkedIn followers and LinkedIn connections is that you can only interact with the connections. (Message, endorse, recommend) They also grow your LinkedIn network.

Followers are less useful, they only get notifications of your new content, nothing else.

As simple as this must sound, the concept is a little more complicated than this. A few surveys were done and it was found that some users feel that connections are a more powerful tool due to their ‘both-sided relationship nature’. Whereas some users give the upper hand to followers for its sheer simplicity. A user said, “The feature puts my content out there, and I don’t even have to put in the work to form a professional relationship with those users.”

Keep reading to know more about this. We’ll be discussing both of these in detail.

Advantages & Flaws of Followers

The younger creators, including the millennials, have loved the word followers since the rise of Instagram’s popularity. In all honesty, it does feel good to have a large following, be it on any social platform, doesn’t it?

But is LinkedIn’s followers feature up to the hype? I have shortlisted some advantages and disadvantages of too many followers that can help you analyze your level of prioritization towards this feature.


  • Increased visibility and reach: Having many followers on LinkedIn can help increase your visibility and reach on the platform, making it easier for potential clients or employers to find and connect with you.
  • Professional networking opportunities: LinkedIn followers are often professionals in your industry or related fields, providing valuable networking opportunities to expand your professional network.
  • Increased credibility: Many followers can signal to others that you are an authority in your field and increase your credibility as a professional.
  • Potential for lead generation: Having a strong following on LinkedIn can help generate leads for your business or job opportunities.
  • Increased engagement: A large following can also lead to increased engagement on your posts and updates, helping to boost your visibility and reach even further.


  • The whole process of building and maintaining a large following on LinkedIn can be time-consuming and might not give you the desired result.
  • Quality vs. quantity: Having many followers doesn’t necessarily mean they are all relevant or engaged, and a smaller, more targeted following may be more beneficial in the long run.
  • Potential for fake followers: It can be easy to purchase fake followers on LinkedIn, which can damage your credibility and reputation as a professional.
  • Can be overwhelming: A large following can lead to a lot of notifications and messages, making it difficult to keep up with and respond to everyone.
  • Can lead to unrealistic expectations: Having a large following can create unrealistic expectations about your professional success or abilities, leading to disappointment when opportunities or leads don't materialize.

Benefits of Relevant Connections

When I started out on this platform, connections felt like an entirely new concept, it was overwhelming to understand how many connections I should have.

Here are some advantages of having a set of relevant connections.

  • Relevant connections will help you maximize your business success rate.
  • You never know when a connection might be a source of qualified market leads.
  • You may end up turning a connection into a prospective client.
  • Your connections can open newer business opportunities for you.
  • Your connections will endorse your skills when you ask them to.
  • Your connections are more likely to engage with your content than your followers.

Lucky for you, I also have written a blog that is solely dedicated to how connections work and how many you should have. Check it out today!

How To Prioritize Between The Two?

The real mind scratcher at the end of the day is the question that how you balance between the two major metrics of LinkedIn. Don’t worry, it can be confusing, we have all been there.

Here are some important factors you need to consider to understand how you can solve your dilemma and be a success on LinkedIn.

  • Relevancy: Consider the relevancy of your connections and followers to your industry or field. Prioritize connections and followers who are relevant to your professional goals and can provide valuable networking opportunities or professional development.
  • Engagement: Prioritize connections and followers who engage with your content and updates. These individuals are more likely to be active and interested in your professional development, which can lead to more opportunities and leads.
  • Quality over quantity: Rather than focusing on the number of connections or followers focus on the quality of your connections and followers. A smaller, more targeted network of high-quality connections and followers can be more beneficial in the long run.
  • Networking opportunities: Prioritize connections over followers when it comes to networking opportunities. Connections can communicate with you directly and can provide you with access to their network, which can open new opportunities for you.
  • Authenticity: Avoid connections and followers that are fake or have been purchased, as they can damage your credibility and reputation as a professional. Prioritize connections and followers who are authentic and have a genuine interest in your professional development.

Ultimately, it's essential to strike a balance between connections and followers and to prioritize those that are most relevant and engaged in your professional development. It takes time, but the results are worth it, trust me on this!

As a LinkedIn Marketer…

How do you categorize the users that you come in contact with, be it your followers or connections? Has this question ever struck you?

It all comes down to what a marketer is marketing, what industry they belong to, and which organization they are from. Knowing how to categorize these users can help you market your product better.

Here are some categories I would recommend you consider as an up-and-coming LinkedIn marketer!

  • Industry or profession: Categorizing users by their industry or profession can help identify potential clients or customers who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
  • Job title or level: Categorizing users by their job title or level can help identify key decision-makers or influencers within an organization.
  • Company size: Categorizing users by the size of their company can help identify potential clients or customers who work for large or small organizations.
  • Location: Categorizing users by their location can help identify potential clients or customers who are in a specific area or region.
  • Engagement level: Categorizing users by their engagement level can help identify those who are most active and engaged on LinkedIn and are more likely to be receptive to marketing efforts.
  • Interests: Categorizing users by their interests can help identify those who are interested in specific topics or products and are more likely to be interested in your marketing efforts.

Using these categories, a marketer can create targeted campaigns and messages to reach the right audience and increase the chances of success. The LinkedIn metrics will help you dig deeper into this.

Wrapping Up

I think it’s safe to say that LinkedIn followers and connections both play an important role in building your professional network and expanding your reach on the platform.

Followers allow you to expand your audience and share your content with a wider audience, while connections allow you to build deeper relationships and exchange messages with other professionals in your field. It's important to understand the difference between the two and how to effectively utilize them to achieve your goals on LinkedIn.

Whether you're looking to expand your professional network, find new job opportunities, or simply build your personal brand, having a strong presence on LinkedIn is essential.

Do you have a healthy balance between the two?


  1. Can I buy LinkedIn followers or connections?
    No, buying followers or connections is against LinkedIn's terms of service and can lead to your account being suspended or terminated.
  2. Can I mass unfollow or mass accept connections on LinkedIn?
    No, LinkedIn's terms of service prohibit the use of automation tools to mass unfollow or mass accept connections.
  3. How can I increase my visibility on LinkedIn?
    To increase visibility on LinkedIn, you can share valuable and relevant content, engage with other users, join groups, and utilize keywords in your profile and job title.
  4. Why did someone unfollow me on LinkedIn?
    There could be various reasons why someone unfollowed you, such as losing interest in your content, finding a new connection, or possibly a mistake.
  5. Can I block someone from following me on LinkedIn?
    Yes, you can block someone from following you by going to their profile, clicking on the three dots in the top right corner, and selecting "block."