Welcome to “What We’re Reading,” a handy little morning post that alerts you to what the crew here at 435 Digital is reading each morning to increase our already vast knowledge of digital marketing. Yes, we’re letting you into our private universe. You’re welcome.

First up this Monday morning,  Techcrunch reviews LinkedIn’s new company pages, launching soon:

As Senior Product Manager Mike Grishaver jumped back-and-forth between the old company page and the new one, there were some clear differences. The old page consisted almost entirely of text, and it was packed with different widgets. The new page (pictured above), on the other hand, is dominated by a single image uploaded by the business, there’s now a big “follow” button visible at the top right, and a lot of the clutter has been removed.

Grishaver says that LinkedIn took a close look at the engagement numbers for the different company page features, and only kept the things that were actually successful. So visitors can still see a news feed, a preview of the company’s products and services, a link to the careers page, and a list of other companies that were also viewed by visitors who looked at the current page. Companies, meanwhile, can still use their page to deliver messages to all of their followers, or to write targeted messages (focusing, for example, on a specific industry, company size, or geography), and they can get analytics data about who’s following them and how engaging their content is.

It should be interesting to see how LinkedIn continues to compete with other social media platforms and carves out its own path in online networking. We’ll have to wait and see if redesigned pages have an impact on LinkedIn’s paid ad option.

Over at Social Media Today, we’re reading about the importance of good content in driving top SEO rankings:

As anyone who has built a web site knows, there is much more to think about than just the content. Design, color, navigation, and appropriate technology are all important aspects of a good web site. Unfortunately, in many organizations these other concerns dominate. Why is that? I think it’s easier to focus on a site’s design or technology than on its content.

One of my favorite examples of sites with poor content but big budget design and technology are the global hotel chains. Go to any hotel property from the majors: Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, or any others from around the world. They all look the same! They have almost no original content about that property!

Yes, appearance and navigation are important. But the best sites focus primarily on content to pull together their various buyers, markets, media, and products in one comprehensive place where content is not only king, but president and Pope as well.

Yes, we all know that “content is king,” but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves every once in a while, especially with timely examples. And ouch, big hotel chains. Ouch.

Twitter announces a new reporting tool for self-service advertisers, as well as more control over promoted Tweets, which means more control for advertisers. Hooray!

Many advertisers have requested more control over which Tweets are promoted in order to be able to market a specific product, promotion or event. That’s why we’re now offering manual selection of Tweets in addition to automatic selection of your most engaging Tweets. If you choose the manual option, you can select a few Tweets for promotion or even tweet from within the interface. Remember to add new Tweets every couple of days to keep users engaged with fresh content.

Finally, our dear friends at Mashable suggest five ways businesses should use Twitter hashtags:

In your business’ case, you may choose to attach a hashtag, such as #smallbiz, or even your brand’s name itself, as #nike might do. This improves the chance that other Twitter users will find your tweet in targeted Twitter searches. But hashtags also streamline your own processes. For instance, you may ask users to include a unique hashtag in their own tweets as part of your newest Twitter marketing campaign. Throughout your campaign, the hashtag files tweets for easy search and organization within Twitter.com.

We protest the omissions of “snarkiness” and “editorial comment” as a legitimate form of hastag use.

That’s what we’re reading at 435 Digital this Monday morning. Have a great day!