The search for novel platforms and metamaterials for the enhancement of optical and particularly Raman signals is still an objective since optical techniques offer affordable, noninvasive methods with high spatial resolution and penetration depth adequate to detect and image a large variety of systems, from 2D materials to molecules in complex media and tissues. Definitely, plasmonic materials produce the most efficient enhancement through the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) process, allowing single-molecule detection, and are the most studied ones. Here we focus on less explored aspects of SERS such as the role of the inter-nanoparticle (NP) distance and the ultra-small NP size limit (down to a few nm) and on novel approaches involving graphene and graphene-related materials. The issues on reproducibility and homogeneity for the quantification of the probe molecules will also be discussed. Other light enhancement mechanisms, in particular resonant and interference Raman scatterings, as well as the platforms that allow combining several of them, are presented in this review with a special focus on the possibilities that graphene offers for the design and fabrication of novel architectures. Recent fluorescence enhancement platforms and strategies, so important for bio-detection and imaging, are reviewed as well as the relevance of graphene oxide and graphene/carbon nanodots in the field.