In Reb Arele’s biography HaRebbe HaKadosh there is a discussion of his following in the town of Satmar (located in Hungary). His followers mainly consisted of working men, but he also recruited some top Yeshiva Bochurim (learned students).
Reb Arele played the role of “Rebbe” for his group of followers, yet he refused to take that title. Instead, he thought of himself as their friend and teacher. The group would learn and daven for many hours each day and Reb Arele would teach them his derech Hashem. In addition, he would often take some of his followers along with him to visit the great Hasidic Rebbes of Galicia.
Reb Arele’s group was not about seeming more pious than others or self-righteousness. Rather, they were a group of sincere Jews that often met in secret and were only interested in truth and serving God.
This is not mentioned in his biography, but according to his Wikipedia page, Reb Arele’s followers had a major dispute with the followers of Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe. I don’t have any details of the dispute, but it resulted in violence between the two leaders’ followers.