This is more of a general strategy/theory question than a specific hand problem.
As a bit of background, I am from the UK and have recently moved from online MTTs to live cash games (I enjoy live poker more and feel more comfortable deep stacked than short). The game I play in is £1/£2 NL £50-£400 buyins, which also happens to be the biggest game that runs regularly around here. For players of any level, if you want to play live cash without travelling to another city, these £1/£2 games are your only option - which means you get a broad spectrum of abilities playing on any given night. You have lots of recreational players of course, but there are at least a couple of pros who play there semi-regularly, as well as plenty of your typical younger online-types and reg-fish.
The main problem I've had so far is playing big pairs (AA, KK, QQ) preflop especially when faced with aggression. I play a nitty style in the main, and 3bet rarely without a premium hand. This is a widely-advocated strategy for live low stakes ring games on the basis that most people won't notice that you're not balanced. In my experience so far though, this doesn't seem to be the case - there are a decent number of 'aware' players (online players primarily) who can spot a nitty image, but sometimes I put in the 3bet and even some of the so-called fish will point out that I haven't reraised anyone in the 3 hours or whatever I've been there. An example was where an obvious recreational player (buying in short, splashing around, stationing down, drinking etc) opened in the hijack, I 3bet him from SB with KK and he flatted. Flop comes 9 high, and since he had less than a PSB left I just put him all in there and then. He thought for about 20 seconds and folded JJ face up 'because it was my first reraise in x hours'.
This has lead me to flatting big hands in spots where I would otherwise 3bet or cold 4bet, for fear of turning my hand face up (or even over-repping my hand with QQ). This has then resulted in me being unsure where I am in a hand, and incorrectly folding the best hand postflop a couple of times. My question is whether I should be playing a looser and more aggressive style. Not so much for pure balance since people probably aren't paying much attention to exacty what I'm showing down, but more for image purposes since most players good or bad seem to be able to spot when someone is playing very tight. My thoughts on changing my preflop game are:
1. 3betting some weaker 'value' hands IP like 77-TT, AQ, AJ, AT, KQ, KJ, QJ which I might flat normally or fold sometimes in the case of KJ/QJ/JT. Do I do this over a raise and multiple callers? Pots are liable to go multiway depending on opponents.
2. 3bet some bluffs, e.g suited connectors, suited aces. As above, is this wise in a multi-way raised pot?
3. Bumping it up in position over multiple limpers with the same range above, where currently I might just overlimp.
4. Opening a wider range in general from more positions, to create a generally 'looser' overall image.
Any thoughts? Generally I don't expect to have much fold equity postflop vs multiple opponents so I have previously shied away from 3betting light. It also feels a waste to turn a hand like 99 into a bluff and get 4bet off a potential setmine when villain has a monster. I don't see how else I can ensure my 3 and 4bets with premiums aren't totally face up though. Sorry for the tl;dr - got a little carried away here! Any other general pointers on preflop strategy for live low stakes cash are also welcome as I feel this is a definie weak area of mine.
Thanks in advance.