Purpose This paper aims to discuss how the hospitality industry is communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) to its stakeholders, the premise being CSR communication through social media platforms will increase stakeholder engagement. Design/methodology/approach This paper is developed based on Schwartz and Carroll’s three-domain approach to CSR motivation, stakeholder theory and a synthesis of previous literature of CSR communication in the hospitality industry. Findings Successful communication through social media is based on two-way participative dialogue. Companies, especially the hospitality industry, have used social media to communicate information through social media in a one-way direction, that of giving information. One example is the communication of CSR actions and intentions as found on hospitality websites, intranets and social media platforms. While previous studies have shown a link between CSR communication through social media and corporate reputation, few studies have examined CSR communication through social media and its effects on specific stakeholder groups. Research limitations/implications Rather than assuming that CSR communication can be done successfully through a “one-size-fits-all” social media discourse, this paper suggests the need for specific messages and potentially different communication channels to increase engagement from each of the various stakeholders in the hospitality industry. Originality/value This is one of the first papers which tries to address how one communication channel, social media, can affect CSR communication and increase stakeholder engagement in the hospitality industry. This paper provides discussion on the usefulness of social media to communicate CSR messages and posits the need for future research projects on a macro and micro level.