A follower is someone who’s slightly above the lurker. This person has been influenced by the community and its content so he/she/they keep the notifications turned on, and maybe even has subscribed to a lot of the content channels like newsletters, blogs, or any updates. A follower is also likely to attend events but won’t be the ones asking questions or interacting with anyway. If it’s an online event, they probably won’t have their cameras on and will drop off as soon as something else comes up.
Community culture plays an integral role in converting a follower into a participant. Since a follower is already hooked to the content side of things, the only thing keeping them from striking conversations is either a factor of not feeling comfortable enough, or not being drawn to the overall vibe of the community. The first can be eased into with the right activation strategies and encouraging DMs, and the latter might not be something that’s flexible enough to accommodate just one member.