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Better segmenting Facebook ad engagement

West-Africa has a millenium long tradition of transforming cotton in an artisanal way: hand-woven cotton strips, hand-sewn clothings made of natural colour, MALI produced cotton can be found in museum collections worldwide, for example the British Museum in London or Quai Branly in Paris. It is, of course, a significant part of National Museum of Mali collections.

This year, MALI has become an African leader in cotton production but less than 5% of cotton is transformed locally. The bulk of the production is exported internationally to be transformed elsewhere. On an industrial scale, Kenecoton is a project to transform raw material into hydrophile cotton for general use.

In a niche luxury market, Mariah Bocoum is a fashion designer who creates contemporary clothing from MALI cotton.

We’ve run an experiment : running a small FB ad targeting both an audience in MALI and NIGERIA and using NamSor API to segment the engaged audience, based on personal names.

The experiment objective is to answer the following questions : how does a NIGERIAN audience react to positive news concerning MALI ?  how does a MALI audience reach to a FB post in English (in MALI, French is generally used as an international language).

The Facebook post

We made the FB post in English.

The sponsored ‘boost’

We’ve sponsored the post with an few dollars worth of ad to ‘boost’ the audience towards MALI (the post’s natural audience) and NIGERIA (our experimentation target).

The engagement result : Facebook doesn’t give much details

The results of the ad engagement are broken down by the type of engagement, but FB doesn’t report much on the audience : who liked the post?

So to further our analysis on the audience, we’ve extracted the list of names from the post ‘Likes’ and used NamSor API to futher breakdown the audience (by gender, by country of origin).

Based on the names alone, we could confirm that the audience targeting worked : 75% of the names are from West Africa. We could also measure the extent to which the ad engaged a NIGERIAN audience. Last, we discovered an interesting feature combining gender and origin : the ad engaged NIGERIAN women quite well !

An opportunity for MALI fashion designers, if they can bridge the language gap with NIGERIA 😉 ?

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NamSor™ Applied Onomastics is a European vendor of sociolinguistics software (NamSor sorts names). NamSor mission is to help understand international flows of money, ideas and people. Reach us at:

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