How to Find a Roommate on Twitter

While Facebook is like a conversation with your friends, Twitter is an open mic. That makes it the perfect platform for which to reach out or seek out your next college roomie.

Whether you’re in search of that perfect person to take the last available bedroom in your house or you’re moving out of the dorms and need to find an awesome off-campus apartment, there are many ways to find a roommate on Twitter.

Craft the perfect post

To look for a roommate in a Twitter post, you’re basically writing a fun, engaging classified ad (if you remember what those are). Twitter gives you 280 characters to tell your story, so use them.

It’s actually advantageous to have a limit, as it will make you focus on what’s important and be concise. You’ll find that you’ll use up that character limit quickly, so get to the point.

The important info first

Start out with your call-to-action: that you’re looking for a roommate, preferred gender, the school you’re attending, the location of your apartment or where you want to live, what you have available and how much it’s going to cost.

Something like: “Looking for female Rutgers roommate to share amazing 4-BR, Easton/Prosper area, just $435/month plus utilities!” Just that basic information is about 100 characters, a third of the room you have to work with.

A little more detail

Spend the next third of your post getting a few more details in, like your roommate preferences and some differentiators about your apartment or neighborhood. “Prefer non-smoker, non-party type, neat/clean, will help cook. 10 min from campus and train, big kitchen, private parking!”

Hashtags, links and images

Close out the tweet with a few hashtags (see below) to get close to but under 280 characters. But remember: If your apartment is listed on a website and you want to post a link to it, that will take up 23 of those characters no matter how long or short the URL is.

Finally, attach up to four images to your post. Images don’t take up any of your character count, so take advantage of it. Add three great pics of your place, maybe one of the living room, one of the available bedroom and one of the kitchen. Use the fourth for a photo of yourself to show how friendly and awesome you are.

Hashtags

As mentioned above, you’re going to want to add a few hashtags to your tweet so people can find you. There’s no magic bullet hashtag everyone will find. Be creative. Use hashtags like #roommatesearch together with hashtags for your school’s name, the apartment’s neighborhood or location and maybe a couple of your interests.

Don’t go overboard. Not only will you take up a lot of space, but your tweet will be hard to read as well. Something like “#roommatewanted #collegeroommate #WichitaState #Hillside #WSUroommates” should be more than enough.

Threads

Finding it hard to get everything you want to say into one tweet? Fair enough, and Twitter has a solution to that: threads. A twitter thread is two or more tweets from the same person attached to each other so they show up together in users’ timelines. This gives you a chance to say a complete thought over two or three or however many tweets you wish.

Create a thread

To create a thread, there are two options. First, if you’re creating a brand new tweet, all you have to do is click on the plus sign next to the “Tweet” post button. But if you’ve already posted a first tweet, all you need to do is reply to your own tweet and it will create a thread.

You can provide more information about you or your apartment by using a thread. Use the first one to talk all about the apartment without having to rely on abbreviations or leave out important info without having to shove it all into 280 characters. Discuss the size, the rent, the amenities and the neighborhood with aplomb, with a sprinkling of hashtags.

Add a second tweet to the thread and talk in detail about you and your preferred roommate. Feel free to include your favorite sports team, your Netflix binge shows or even your political preferences or overnight guest rules because things like that can make or break a successful roommate relationship.

And then wrap it up in a final tweet in the thread with how to contact you (open DM’s, Google Voice number, dedicated Gmail account, etc.), what date you wish to fill the vacancy or add a link to your apartment or landlord’s website or your personal blog. Be creative!

Limit your thread to three

You should limit your thread to three tweets. In the Twitter timeline, a three-tweet thread will show all three tweets. Any more than three and Twitter will condense it, showing the first tweet and the last two tweets in the thread, with “Show this thread” in the middle.

Go viral

What better way to get your apartment or roommate situation out there than by going viral? Make your tweet funny, interesting and unique, and maybe it will get retweeted by a lot of people or picked up by Buzzfeed.

Be snarky, be quirky or be motivating and if enough people engage with your tweet, you’ll rise in the search results and your perfect roommate might slide into your DM’s post-haste.

Search Twitter yourself

On the other side of creating a post people can find, search Twitter yourself to find people looking for a place or a roomie. Click on some of those hashtags you created and explore. Helpful hint: You can type multiple hashtags into Twitter’s search box like “#roommate #MTSU” and it will search tweets with both those tags.

You don’t have to search hashtags specifically. Just throw “roommate wanted MTSU” or whatever you’re looking for into the search box and see what pops up. If you find a great potential lead, tweet back at them or send them a direct message if they have open DM’s.

Brokers and apartment finders

Just like you’re looking for apartments on Twitter, sometimes apartments are looking for you! Apartments occasionally hire independent brokers to seek out tenants for them, like a job recruiter. You can search for some of these companies on Twitter and see if they have some properties you’d be interested in.

Sometimes apartment complexes and buildings have Twitter accounts, too. Check into them and see if they’re tweeting about anyone looking for a roommate!

There are also roommate brokers people hire to find them roommates. Clients tell them what they’re looking for and the broker does the legwork just like a realtor, but for people.

Companies like these often have a Twitter presence showcasing some of their clients. Search for some of those around your campus and see if they have any interesting listings or are retweeting roommate searchers. Just get in touch and tell them you saw a great potential roommate on their Twitter.

This article specifically relates to ads posted by tenants who are looking for someone with whom to live. Nothing in this piece applies to ads placed by landlords or property managers.
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Michael HochmanMichael is a Philadelphia-based writer with a variety of interests, including music, TV, politics, travel, and sports (Fly Eagles Fly!). His background includes a decade as a programming executive in network television, six years as a marketing executive at a technology company, and time at two magazines and two advertising agencies. He also sits on the board of a non-profit law firm that assists veterans with disabilities. Michael is a proud Syracuse grad (Newhouse) who has lived in Kansas, Chicago, Saratoga and beyond.

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